Mr. Kadima D. Kalonji, Mr. Boileau Loko, Raj Nallari, and Mr. Montfort Mlachila
This paper explores the relationship between external debt and poverty. A number of observers have argued that high external indebtedness is a major cause of poverty. Using the first-differenced general method of moments (GMM) estimator, the paper models the impact of external debt on poverty, measured by life expectancy, infant mortality, and gross primary enrollment rates, while duly taking into account the impact of external debt on income. The paper thus endeavors to bring together the literature that links external debt with income growth and poverty. The main conclusion is that once the effect of income on poverty has been taken into account, external indebtedness indicators have a limited but important impact on poverty.
This paper responds to the Board’s request for an assessment of eligible countries that could qualify for Fund debt relief under the MDRI once the requisite consents and requests have been received. Directors requested that, by end-2005, staff prepare, in collaboration with the World Bank, an assessment of the 18 post-completion point HIPCs, as well as eligible non-HIPCs, and propose for Board consideration a list of members that would qualify immediately for MDRI debt relief. Directors also requested that, for those members that do not presently meet the MDRI qualification criteria, remedial measures be expressly identified that would allow them to qualify for MDRI relief.
The Executive Board held an informal seminar on September 21, 2005 to discuss possible implementation modalities for the G-8 debt relief proposal. On September 24, 2005, the International Monetary and Financial Committee supported providing 100 percent cancellation of debt owed by HIPCs to the Fund, and considered that this would provide significant additional resources for countries’ efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals and reinforce long-term debt sustainability.
The G-8 has proposed that the Fund, the International Development Association, and the African Development Fund cancel 100 percent of their claims on countries having reached, or upon reaching, the completion point under the enhanced Heavily Indebt Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. The proposal was initially presented to the G-8 Finance Ministers' Conclusions on Development issued on June 11, 2005, and reaffirmed in the statement on Africa signed by G-8 Heads of State and Government at the Gleneagles Summit on July 8, 2005.