Ottawa, August 23, 2012
2012-094

Archived - Harper Government Cancels All Remaining Debt Owed to Canada by Côte d’Ivoire

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the Government of Canada will forgive approximately $130 million (US$130.6 million) owed by Côte d’Ivoire through the Canadian Debt Initiative (CDI).

With this relief, Canada has now cancelled over $1 billion of debt owed by the world’s poorest and most heavily indebted countries.

“Canada is committed to supporting those nations that demonstrate a balanced commitment to investing in the priorities of their citizens while repaying their debt burdens,” said Minister Flaherty. “Today’s announcement will allow Côte d’Ivoire to commit more resources to such needs as the health and education of its citizens. I would also like to reiterate our support to the Ivorian Government’s continued efforts to restore peace and stability in the country.”

Minister Flaherty said Canada commends the progress made in Côte d’Ivoire since President Alassane Ouattara’s inauguration and expects the country will once again demonstrate its traditional leadership in the region.

“This is a step in the right direction, to helping this country establish, strengthen and develop productive trade relations,” said Minister Flaherty. “We appreciate the role President Ouattara has played as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, particularly during the crisis in Mali.”

Côte d’Ivoire is the 15th country to meet all of the debt relief requirements of the CDI. 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 and World Bank-led Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

Since 2002, Canada has provided $129.3 million in debt relief to Côte d’Ivoire. This final cancellation of the country’s remaining debt brings total debt relief to Côte d’Ivoire to nearly $260 million. This debt forgiveness announced for Côte d’Ivoire represents the second largest since the establishment of the CDI.

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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