|NOK 20 million of Côte d’Ivoire’s debt to be cancelled|
| [21.02.2012, 02:41pm, Tue. GMT]|
|The Government decided today to cancel around NOK 20 million of Côte d’Ivoire’s debt to Norway. Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented, “I am pleased that Côte d’Ivoire is now on the right track towards cancellation of all its debt following the crisis last year. The country faces major challenges in the wake of a long internal conflict.”This debt cancellation is in line with an agreement reached in the Paris Club – an informal group of creditor countries – on 15 November last year, to cancel Côte d’Ivoire’s debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.|
In keeping with the Norwegian debt plan, the debt will be cancelled without any funds being taken from the development assistance budget. In other words, the debt cancellation will not affect other development assistance to poor countries, but will be additional to this.
“A reduction in debt will make it easier for Côte d’Ivoire to improve its economy and rebuild the country after the conflict. I hope that Norway will be able to cancel the rest of the debt later this year,” said Mr Solheim.
Norway has cancelled a total of NOK 300 million of Côte d’Ivoire’s debt over the last 15 years. The remaining amount is around NOK 187 million. This may be cancelled later this year if the country meets the requirements for responsible economic governance set out under the HIPC initiative.