Comoros eligible for HIPC debt relief: IMF, World Bank

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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that a preliminary review had found that Comoros was eligible for relief on its debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative.

“The Executive Boards of the … IMF and the World Bank’s International Development Association have deemed, on a preliminary assessment, that the Union of the Comoros is eligible for assistance under … HIPC,” IMF said in a statement on its website.
“The assessment is a step towards forgiveness of the majority of the country’s foreign debt stock, which is estimated at $285.9 million as of end-2009.”

The statement said that for Comoros to qualify for the relief, Comoros would have to satisfactorily meet the conditions set out under IMF’s Extended Credit Facility.

The IMF said Comoros had potential for reaching decision point under HIPC mid this year.

IMF said other factors that could help it reach completion point include improving public financial management and governance, strengthening healthcare and education and improving debt management.

IMF said going forward, Comoros would have to strengthen fiscal performance, particularly by improving revenue collection and boost control of its wage bill.
“The need for debt relief in Comoros is particularly salient, because the resources available to support the most basic public investments in physical and human capital have been constrained,” World Bank Country Director for Comoros, Johannes Zutt, said in the statement.

The Comoros, sandwiched between Madagascar and southern Africa, has a turbulent history with some 20 coups, or attempted coups, since declaring independence from France in 1975.

Pic: World Bank



Source: www.af.reuters.com