Cancellation of all Guinea’s debt
OSLO, Norway, February 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Norwegian Government has decided to cancel all Guinea’s debt to Norway, which amounts to around NOK 100 million (USD 17.2 million).
Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås commented, “In August last year, we cancelled NOK 42 million of Guinea’s debt to Norway. I am glad that we can now cancel the rest. This means that this West African country can now use more of its income on schools and public health services without the heavy burden of debt.”
The agreement comes under a framework agreement concluded in the Paris Club – a forum for creditor countries – in October 2012. The Paris Club agreed to cancel Guinea’s debt under the international Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, known as the HIPC initiative.
Norway is the only country to pursue a policy where debt cancellation does not affect aid to poor countries. It is carried out using additional funding, without drawing on the aid budget.
“We could have reported this as official development assistance, but we don’t want to inflate our aid budget with a payment that should be additional,” said Mr Holmås.