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IMF Accused of Scaling-Back G8 Debt Cancellation Plan


The International Monetary Fund is being accused of trying to scale back the debt cancellation agreement announced at last July’s G8 summit. G8 leaders said they would cancel the debts of 18 of the world’s poorest countries, but various groups say the IMF plans to deny debt cancellation to Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Rwanda, Senegal and Nicaragua.

One of the groups making the claim is the Nairobi-based Solidarity Africa Network in Action. Executive Director Njoki Njehu told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua that there’s evidence of the IMF’s intentions.

“This is from information actually coming from the IMF itself. Leaked documents from people within the institution and within governments that are members of the IMF, including the US government, the US Treasury, actually, who are disappointed and upset that what was really a limited debt deal only covering 18 countries out of a possible 40 or more. So even from their own category…so taking 18 was a very limited deal that they came up with at the G8. So to come up with conditionality within the context of the G8 debt deal is quite unfortunate and tragic because it means that even fewer people will get debt cancellation, will get benefits of debt cancellation,” she says.

The IMF plans to meet December 21st. Ms. Njehu says she believes that’s when the reduced debt deal will be signed and a statement issued. She says it’s unclear why these six countries would be denied debt cancellation, but critics accuse the IMF of trying to place more conditions on those countries prior to approval.

Voice of America has contacted the IMF about the allegation and is awaiting a response.

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