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Ghana not eligible for HIPC – Sources

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IMF2Contrary to reports in the media, Ghana has not been added to a list of countries eligible for debt relief assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

Only three new countries have been added to the list: Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Multiple IMF and World Bank sources both in Washington DC and Accra have told ghanabusinessnews.com the information in the Ghanaian media making reference to an IMF fact sheet is wrong. “Fact sheets are just explainers. This fact sheet provides basic information about the HIPC process,” one source told ghanabusinessnews.com.

The sources spoke on conditions of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak on Ghana.

Another source said the reports claiming Ghana is on the list of countries eligible for HIPC are wrong.

Meanwhile, an IMF Spokesperson told ghanabusinessnews.com, “Ghana has already received debt relief under HIPC. It is listed under countries post-completion point meaning countries that have already received debt relief under HIPC.” The spokesperson also added: “The date September 15 is to simply help to clarify that the data/info is updated as of that date.”

Reports in the media on Wednesday said Ghana had now joined a list of 36 countries eligible for debt support.

Extracts from the IMF fact sheet on Debt Relief under the HIPC initiative, actually say that the 36 countries are countries already receiving assistance:

“Of the 39 countries eligible or potentially eligible for HIPC Initiative assistance, 36 are receiving full debt relief from the IMF and other creditors after reaching their completion points”

“For the 36 countries receiving debt relief, debt service paid has declined by about 1.8 percentage points of GDP between 2001 and 2013,” it adds.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi & Emmanuel Odonkor

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