Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Haiti finally completes debt relief process

Only one day after the Central African Republic, the IMF and World Bank have now also agreed to allow Haiti to complete the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and receive $1.2 billion in debt relief. Haiti is the 26th country to complete HIPC. This is a major campaign victory after years of struggle for the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. In April this year, the US Obama administration said it would pay the remaining debt service that Haiti owed until it completed HIPC. This decision now makes that permanent, and means that Haiti also gets Multilateral Debt Relief and will have vital extra resources to tackle poverty and crisis.

Read the World Bank press release here.

Central African Republic gets debt relief

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have agreed that the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) can complete the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The C.A.R. becomes the 25th country to reach the completion point under the Initiative. This means it will receive $207 million in debt relief. It also now becomes eligible for the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative and so gets a further $182 million debt cancellation.

Read the IMF press release here.

African legal fund to help tackle vultures

The Financial Times reports that the African Development Bank launched a legal support organisation on Monday "designed to level the playing field for cash-strapped African states negotiating complex commercial transactions or facing litigation by vulture funds". This is something Jubilee Debt Campaign has been calling for since the Zambia v Donegal case in 2007, and the UK Government has been working behind the scenes to push it forward. However, legal assistance doesn't prevent the vultures attacking in the first place - see our End the Vulture Culture campaign to find out why the law needs to be changed.

Read the article in full: African plan to keep vulture funds at bay