Ottawa, April 13, 2005

Archived - Canada Cancels All Debt Owed by Zambia, Honduras and Rwanda

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Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today announced the cancellation of all debt owed to Canada by Zambia, Honduras and Rwanda. The three countries will receive total debt relief of nearly $52 million.

"Too many resources in developing nations are being soaked up to pay for yesterday's debts when they should be invested in social and economic initiatives today that can lead to a better quality of life tomorrow," said Minister Goodale. "Today's announcement is a continuation of our commitment to help developing countries overcome the terrible burden of debt so that they can reinvest in their own growth."

The $52 million in debt relief breaks down as follows: $39.2 million for Zambia, $9.5 million for Honduras and $3.2 million for Rwanda. These countries join Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia and Madagascar as countries whose debts to Canada have been forgiven in just the past year under the Canadian Debt Initiative (CDI). Four other countries-Tanzania, Benin, Guyana and Bolivia-have also had their debts forgiven since December 2000.

In all, more than $1.1 billion in debt will be forgiven through the CDI. The CDI complements the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, a comprehensive multilateral debt reduction strategy that allows all debt owing to Canada and other countries to be officially written off as countries complete the HIPC process, as these countries have now done. Canada was the first creditor country to call for forgiveness of all bilateral debt owed by countries eligible for the HIPC program.

More details on Canada's efforts can be found at

For further information, media may contact:

David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080
Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861

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