This paper updates the status of implementation, impact, and costs of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
Debt relief provided under the Initiatives has substantially alleviated debt burdens in recipient countries. Aided by continued flexibility on the part of IDA and the Fund, substantial progress has been achieved under the Initiatives since the last report, and a number of post-decision-point countries have already benefited from debt relief.
This note discusses the implications of the price shocks for the balance of payments of low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The response by bilateral donors and multilateral institutions will, in practice, need to be country-specific. To this end, the note identifies a list of 18 countries in the region that are especially hard-hit and that consequently face a pressing need for additional balance of payments and budget support. The list reflects country circumstances and underlying assumptions as of May, and is subject to change; it is not meant to be definitive.
Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura, Mr. Anupam Basu, and Mr. Anthony E Calamitsis
This paper analyzes the factors affecting economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, using data for 1981–97. The results indicate that per capita real GDP growth is positively influenced by economic policies that raise the ratio of private investment to GDP, promote human capital development, lower the ratio of the budget deficit to GDP, safeguard external competitiveness, and stimulate export volume growth. The favorable evolution of these variables played an important role in the region’s apparent postreform recovery of 1995–97. The paper also discusses a policy framework to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa