An Appraisal of Debt Relief for Poor Countries
The Highly Indebted Poor Countries' (HIPC) Initiative provides debt relief to a group of highly indebted poor countries. The capacity of the multilateral financial institutions (MFIs) to manage this programme is analysed and the conclusion is drawn that it is unlikely to achieve the purposes for which it has been established. Criticism is based upon the MFIs' own policy advice as well as that of public campaigners, and also other economists' appraisals of MFI performance. The conclusion is drawn that there are a number of reasons for wishing to restrict the role of the MFIs in this process and that there should be movement towards a simplified framework for debt cancellation with a greater role for private institutions and market-oriented payments disciplines.
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