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17.05.2004 Business & Finance

Review meeting on HIPC Initiative opens

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Accra, May 17, GNA - Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Monday said 100 per cent grants and loans pledged by the nation's development partners in 2003 have been fully disbursed under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS) framework.

This has enhanced the "predictability of external inflows into Ghana's economy".

Dr Akoto-Osei was opening a capacity building meeting on the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) in Accra for over 30 delegates drawn from Ghana, Mali, Benin and Burkina Faso, the four HIPC countries in the West Africa Sub-Region.

The meeting would facilitate the exchange of views on the HIPC Initiative and its capacity building needs.

The MDBS ensures a common benchmark against which the Government's development partners can assess performance; improve dialogue and base funding commitments and disbursement on the achievement of agreed targets.

It also offers a platform to review key issues involving evaluation of the country's progress and financial sustainability of the HIPC capacity building programme.

The Deputy Minister said as part of its financing mechanism and strategy to mobilise more aid, the Government together with its development partners came up with the MDBS concept, which aimed at harmonising the policies and procedures of the development partners. Dr Akoto-Osei said since the start of the HIPC programme, the country had made "substantial amounts of debt service savings" that was now being utilised to fund poverty reduction programmes.

The four-day meeting is being organised by the West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.