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27.09.2005 Business & Finance

Donor community lauds HIPC benefits

By GNA
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Washington, Sept.27, GNA - The Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed the 100 per cent debt cancellation the G- 8 countries offered some developing countries.

The Washington meeting, which was on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries lauded the cancellation of the debt owed by the eligible Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to the donor community.

A release on the meeting and a communiqu=E9 on the 12th meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF made available to the Ghana News Agency, called for additional donor resources for debt relief to provide tangible benefits to HIPC.

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

It welcomed the World Bank Group ambitious Africa Action Plan, which would support African countries in their efforts to increase growth, tackle poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It focussed on the implementation of Education for All Fast Track Initiative, including closing of the financial gap; stepping up the fight against major diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria; promoting women's role in development and improving the environment for small and medium enterprises, including access to micro finance.

"We called for further analysis and elaboration of proposed new mechanisms to scale up and strategically target aid to countries and programmes," the release said.

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 trading benefited 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 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. 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 communiqu=E9 on the IMF meeting welcomed the ongoing global economic expansion, although it noted that growth divergence between countries remain wide.

Global growth is expected to continue although downside risks to the out look have increased, especially high volatile oil processing recently exacerbated by the Hurricane Katrina, the widening of global imbalances and increasing protectionist sentiments. The Committee welcomed the action by members of the International Energy Agency and oil producing countries to continue to increase supplies to the market.

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