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IMF to Extend 100 Percent Debt Relief for 19 Countries Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative


December 21, 2005, The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the assessment of the first group of countries eligible for relief under the historic Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Following the discussion, Mr.Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the IMF, made the following statement:

"I am delighted to announce that the IMF will grant 100 percent debt relief to 19 countries under the MDRI (including remaining HIPC assistance) amounting to SDR 2.3 billion (about US$ 3.3 billion). This is an historic moment, which will allow these countries to increase spending in priority areas to reduce poverty, promote growth, and to make progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These countries should receive this debt relief in early 2006.

"Bringing the MDRI to this stage since it was proposed in June 2005 has taken an intensive effort. I am proud of what the IMF has achieved in delivering debt relief in just six months.

"This represents the first phase of countries that will receive 100 percent debt relief under the MDRI. There are other countries that are also eligible, and at various stages on the road to qualification for MDRI relief. As they continue to make progress-and it is my hope that their progress will be rapid—we look forward to assisting them in joining those that we considered at this Board meeting.

“For this debt relief to take effect, the IMF still needs consents from some contributors to the PRGF Trust Subsidy Account, which is one of the sources of financing for MDRI resources for debt relief, and I urge the donors who have not yet done so to provide their consents as quickly as possible,” Mr. de Rato said.

The 19 countries that qualify as a result of today’s assessment include: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.


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