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27.09.2005 Business & Finance

Finance Minister lauds HIPC benefits

By GNA
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Washington, Sept.26, GNA- Mr Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Monday welcomed the G -eight proposals, for the 100 per cent cancellation of debt owed by the eligible Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to the donor community. He called for additional donor resources for debt relief to provide tangible benefits to HIPC.

Mr Wiredu made this known in a release issued on a meeting with the donor community in Washington.

He said 18 countries had reached the completion point and another 10 are between the decision and HIPC completion points. The meeting supported the proposal to provide 100 per cent cancellation of debts owned by the HIPC countries to the International Monetary Fund, the International Development Association and the African Development Funds.

The release called for stronger country policies and more effective aid, which must be complemented with ambitious moves to increase openness and market access and to ensure that trade benefit the poor. It said scaling up of investment in infrastructure alongside strong programmes on education and health was key to faster growth and progress in reducing poverty.

It supported the World Banks efforts in the global environment facility to assist member countries in measures to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change and improve energy efficiency to renewal and cost effective energy.

The release expressed the need for the launch of the international finance facility for immunisation and the upcoming implementation of an airline ticket solidarity tax by a group of countries.

It welcomed the World Bank's Group ambitious Africa Plan, which supports African countries in their effort to increase growth, tackle poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

It said the action plan correctly focussed on building state capacity and improving governance; strengthening the drivers of growth and promoting broad participation in growth and sharing its benefits.

It said scaling up investment infrastructure alongside strong programmes for education and health was key to faster growth and progress in reducing poverty.

The meeting noted that steps to strengthen medium-term fiscal positions remained crucial for supporting global growth and stability. "We welcome the World Bank Group's ambitious Africa Action Plan, which will support African countries in their efforts to increase growth, tackle poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals," it said.

The release said the action plan focussed on building State capacity and improving governance; strengthening the drivers of growth; and promoting broad participation in growth and sharing its benefits.

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