Niger Reaches Completion Point in HIPC Initiative: Obtains major debt relief from the AfDB
The Bank Group will, as a result, provide irrevocable debt relief of US$ 50.01 million in net present value (NPV) terms to the country. Niger will be released from up to 80 percent of annual debt service obligations to the Bank Group until the entire amount is delivered in July 2024.
In reaching its decision, the Boards recognized the fact that Niger had successfully implemented reforms agreed to when the country reached the decision point in December 2000. In line with the enhanced HIPC framework arrangements, Niger had to fulfill the following conditions to reach completion point:
- Completion and satisfactory implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for at least one year;
- Maintenance of a stable macroeconomic environment in line with IMF-set targets;
- Implementation of key governance and social reforms monitored under the Initiative and outlined at the decision point.
The Boards agreed that specific triggers that were set at the decision point to assess Niger’s eligibility to reach the completion point under the enhanced HIPC framework had been successfully implemented. The government’s PRSP adopted in January 2002 was a credible framework for providing concessional assistance to reduce poverty in Niger.
The Boards noted that since 2002, Niger had continued to implement policy reforms and programs aimed at fostering strong and sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. The government had established a solid track record of implementing policy and structural reforms and satisfactory progress had been achieved in fiscal policies.
The policy reforms to improve access to basic education were successfully implemented through construction of 2,433 new classrooms over 2001/2002, of which 86 percent were in the rural areas, as well as the recruitment of 3,701 teachers for the school year 2003/2004, with 77 percent employed in the rural areas. In the health sector, reforms included an increase in the staffing of health centres and the implementation of a strategy to fight HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Niger is the 8th Regional Member Country of the Bank to reach completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative. Debt relief from the ADB Group to the country since December 2000 when it reached decision point – the first stage in the HIPC process – amounted to US$ 6.52 million in NPV terms, accounting for 17.53 percent of total debt relief for the country.