HC Deb 25 October 2000 vol 355 cc140-1W
Mr. Blizzard

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much debt owed by poor countries has been cancelled(a) unilaterally by the UK and (b) as a result of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. [132202]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The UK's policy of 100 per cent. debt forgiveness starts at decision point. The exact amount of debt forgiven unilaterally in addition to the reduction as part of the HIPC initiative depends on the exact settlement reached multilaterally when a country's debts are reduced to a sustainable level. At the start of this month, 10 countries had reached decision point and will see £245 million written off. Twenty countries are scheduled to reach decision point by the end of the year and will receive £610 million debt relief under the UK's policy. The first 10 countries to reach decision point will receive $21 billion in total debt relief, $16 billion in debt relief under the HIPC initiative and $5 billion from traditional debt relief measures.

In addition, the UK has pledged $316 million to the HIPC Trust Fund and has given $69 million to the IMF to finance its participation in the HIPC Initiative. It has made the second largest pledge of any country.

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