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Australia provides $18 Million to help world's poorest nations

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Media Release


The Government will make a new contribution to assist the world's poorest
nations to escape the burden of unsustainable debt by providing an extra $18
million to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The HIPC Initiative is a multilateral plan to provide debt relief to the
world's poorest countries who are pursuing IMF and World Bank supported reform
programmes. The additional funding is aimed at meeting the ongoing costs of
providing multilateral debt relief to these countries.

This contribution is in addition to the Government's commitment to provide
100% bilateral debt relief for countries that qualify for HIPC assistance. Of
those countries identified for possible debt relief under the Initiative, both
of the HIPC-eligible countries with bilateral debts to Australia - Nicaragua and
Ethiopia - are already benefiting from HIPC assistance and are no longer
repaying their debts to Australia.

Australia believes the enhanced HIPC Initiative is the most effective way to
provide sustainable debt relief to the world's poorest countries. It involves
all creditors, including multilateral development institutions, giving debt
relief to countries with sound institutional and policy frameworks to aid
further development. It is also directed to ensuring that the proceeds of debt
relief are directed towards basic health, education and poverty reduction
programmes, and not lost in corruption or military spending.

This contribution meets Australia's share of the continuing costs of the HIPC
Initiative, and brings Australia's total commitment to the HIPC Initiative to
$77 million.

Media inquiries:

Chris Kenny (Mr Downer) 02 6277 7500

Niki Savva (Mr
Costello) 02 6277 7340

Last Updated: 25 February 2013
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