Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Debt relief plan announced for Liberia

A new plan to give debt relief to Liberia was announced yesterday. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund launched a plan to relieve Liberia of 4.6 billion dollars of debt.

From the AFP article that we found at South Africa's News 24 we read more on the joint statement on the relief, and some reaction from OXFAM.

In a joint statement, the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank said the impoverished African nation, which is only just recovering from the ravages of a protracted civil war, "has successfully implemented its poverty-reduction strategy and maintained a stable macroeconomic environment, despite the global economic crisis".

They said that Liberia's course toward economic and social stability would be eased by the debt relief.

"We welcome the concerted efforts made by Liberia to obtain this debt relief. This will help attract new investment and generate much needed opportunities," Chris Lane, IMF mission chief for Liberia, said in the statement.

"Debt relief for Liberia is a step in the right direction, as it will open up fiscal space for spending on desperately needed social services," said Oxfam policy advisor Pamela Gomez.

"Oxfam along with our partners in Liberia recently conducted a research study which found that Liberia is facing a public health crisis - three out of four people have no access to safe water, and lack of water and sanitation cause 18% of deaths in that country," she said.

So "the Liberian government itself is going to have to act fast to budget more for water and sanitation to halt the scandal of preventable disease and deaths", Gomez said.

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