Press release | Date: 25/02/2004
On Thursday 26 February Minister of international development Hilde F. Johnson will be meeting mr Vikram Nehru, Manager of the HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) unit of the World Bank.
International Development Minister meets manager of the HIPC Unit of the World Bank
On Thursday 26 February Minister of international development Hilde F. Johnson will be meeting mr Vikram Nehru, Manager of the HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) unit of the World Bank. The HIPC initiative is the framework for debt relief for the poorest and most indebted developing countries.
Norway attaches great importance to the international efforts to deal with the debt situation of developing countries, and the reason for Mr Nehru’s visit is the active role Norway is playing in improving the HIPC Initiative. The Initiative was launched in 1996 and extended in 1999, and links debt relief in a systematic way with development-promoting and poverty reduction policies. Under the Initiative, 28 countries are to have their debt burdens dramatically reduced in the amount of USD 41 billion. Many of them are already able to increase their allocations to health and education substantially as a result of HIPC, and a further 10 countries will be eligible for HIPC status once they emerge from conflict or war. The status, progress and financing of the Initiative will be among the topics of discussion at the meeting. The Minister will also inform Mr Nehru about the progress of the government’s new action plan for debt relief and development.
Mr Nehru is not only the manager of the World Bank’s HIPC Unit, he is also an economist and an expert on multilateral debt relief and the debt situation of developing countries. In addition to meeting the Minister of International Development, he will be meeting the deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Norwegian parliament and representatives of other Nordic countries which are part of the Nordic-Baltic constituency in the World Bank, of the Norwegian chapter of Jubilee 2000 and of other Norwegian organisations that are concerned about this issue.
Notes for editors
Mr Nehru and Ms Johnson will be available for interviews after the meeting, at about 10.45 on 26 February. Appointments may be made with Information Adviser Odd Naustdal, tel. +47 22 24 30 12/911 49 490.