Zambia: Debt deal a bad deal

In 1996 the World Bank and IMF accorded Zambia the dubious distinction of being an HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Country), which entitles them to a ?debt relief? program. However, according to a recent study, the country will continue paying out about US$198 million per annum over the next five years, and about US$100 million for the following eleven. This will not allow Zambia to undertake socio-economic development, concludes the report, and the conditions imposed will have a devastating impact on the Zambian people. The study was a joint effort by Jubilee-Zambia, hosted by the Jesuit Centre of Theological Reflection (JCTR) of Lusaka, and OXFAM-Zambia. It urges a public review, and recommends that all conditions be scrutinised for their impact upon the poor before they are implemented, that effective steps be taken toward poverty reduction, and that all information on HIPC be made available to the public. See www.jctr.org.zm [HL10802]