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The Debt Problem of the HIPC


In October 1995, the Development and Interim Committees requested that the Bank and the Fund undertake further analysis of the debt problems of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs). For cases where existing mechanisms appeared inadequate to enable countries with sound policies to achieve a sustainable debt position, the Bank and the Fund were asked to report with proposals for further action. On the basis of staff analysis, the Boards of the two institutions agreed that there is a significant number of HIPCs for whom the burden of debt was likely to remain above sustainable levels over the medium term, even with strong policy performance and full use of existing debt-relief mechanisms, They also suggested a number of guiding principles that should be the basis for any specific proposals. The present paper, which reflects discussions with major MDBs concerned, summarizes the conclusions of this analysis, lists the guiding principles, and sets out a broad framework of action which respects

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