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IMF Decides Wednesday Debt Cancellation Fate for Six Countries

Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund may decide to drop as many as six countries from the list of those promised debt cancellation by the G8 leaders, head of the world's richest countries.

Last July, at the G8 summit in Scotland, it was announced that 18 of the world’s poorest countries would have their debts forgiven. Now there’s word the IMF could eliminate any or all of the following: Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Senegal, Rwanda and Nicaragua.

The IMF says it has no comment on the reports.

Among those awaiting the IMF’s decision is Debi Kar of the Jubilee USA Network. She spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about why the IMF would take another look at the six countries.

“The IMF is allegedly saying that these countries are so-called off-track with their economic programs. It’s a combination of things… especially some of these executive board members, who’ve been complaining about the G8 debt cancellation deal. Sort of all along we had heard from particularly the Belgians, the Dutch and the Norwegians that they were unhappy with this G8 debt cancellation package because they knew that it meant here was a possibility that these 18 countries, once they received debt cancellation, would have the opportunity to possibly chart out new economic territory… and not necessarily have to be as beholding to the IMF’s economic reforms,” she says.

Asked whether a decision to eliminate all six countries is carved in stone, Ms. Kar replies, “The intelligence that we’re getting from some of our sources at the IMF executive board and also from European partners that also work on debt…is that there is sort of a lot of internal wrangling at the executive board taking place right now ahead of tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) board meeting in the morning.”

Asked by the VOA whether the reports about the countries were true, an IMF spokesperson said the agency had no comment.