Sub-Saharan Africa

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd January 2003.

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Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman Shadow Minister (Women), Shadow Secretary of State for International Development 11:30 am, 22nd January 2003

Many sub-Saharan countries are classified as heavily indebted poor countries and qualify for debt relief. However, only six countries have completed the process of debt relief under the HIPC initiative. That means that 70 per cent. of those countries are failing to meet their targets for receiving debt relief. Of that 70 per cent., three quarters are sub-Saharan countries. Given that the HIPC initiative has missed the target by such a wide margin, will the Secretary of State now agree with Jubilee Research, Oxfam, Christian Aid and many other non-governmental organisations that it is about time that the HIPC initiative was radically overhauled?