Ottawa, May 28, 2010

Archived - Canada Cancels All Debt Owed by the Republic of Congo

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the Government of Canada will forgive nearly $24 million owed by the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) through the Canadian Debt Initiative (CDI). With this relief, Canada has now cancelled close to $1 billion of debt owed by the world’s poorest and most heavily indebted countries through the CDI.

“Canada’s debt relief program continues to support nations that have demonstrated a commitment to invest in the current needs of their citizens, even as they struggle with the debt burdens of their past,” said Minister Flaherty. “Today’s debt relief announcement will free up more resources that can be better invested in the health and education of the Republic of Congo’s citizens.”

The Republic of Congo is the 14th country to meet all of the debt relief requirements of the CDI, under which $1.3 billion in debt will be forgiven once all eligible countries have completed the process. The CDI provides 100 per cent cancellation of bilateral debt owed to Canada for countries that have fulfilled all of the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank-led Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

Minister Flaherty also announced that the Government of Canada will stop collecting all bilateral debt repayments from Côte d’Ivoire, in recognition of the country’s efforts towards economic reform under its current IMF and World Bank programs. This moratorium will continue until Côte d’Ivoire reaches the completion point under the HIPC Initiative, at which time all remaining debt owed to Canada will be cancelled.

Today’s announcement is a further example of Canada’s track record of accountability and honouring its international commitments, a key theme of Canada’s G8 and G20 Summit year. Through Budget 2010, Canada fulfilled its commitment to double international assistance from the 2002 level this fiscal year, and has already met its commitment to double aid to Africa. Canada has also boosted by $22 billion its support to international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, which assist nations still coping with the global economic and financial crisis. This includes Canada’s offer to provide US$2.6 billion to the African Development Bank, which will increase the Bank’s lending capacity by 75 per cent in 2010.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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