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Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative aims at assisting the world's poorest countries by bringing their external debt to sustainable levels, conditional on their governments showing satisfactory performance levels.
The program was started as a joint initiative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 1996. It underwent review and reform in 1999. Debt relief is conditional upon efforts to reduce poverty in the participating countries.
The HIPC program identifies 38 countries, 32 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, as being potentially being eligible to receive debt relief (2004). The 27 countries that have so far received $54 billion in aid are:
- Burkina Faso
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- The Gambia
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- Official HIPC website
- HIPC Debt Relief: Myths and Reality (Jan Joost Teunissen and Age Akkerman (eds.), Fondad, 2004, book, pdf)
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