Italy Cancels Uganda Debt

MILAN, Italy, APRIL 18, 2002 ( In keeping with the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative, Italy has canceled its credits with Uganda.

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The HIPC initiative regards the elimination of Third World countries´ debt as indispensable for the countries to revitalize their fragile economies. The initiative is the result of the Paris Club, which includes the most important creditor states.

Italy responded by signing a bilateral agreement Wednesday at the headquarters of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Italy canceled $83 million of Uganda´s debt, making the latter the first of the 38 countries of the HIPC project to have its foreign debt forgiven.

Italy has complied for the first time with the commitment to cancel the debt of developing countries.

The choice of Uganda was not accidental. «Thanks to the policy of President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda has undertaken a virtuous path, reducing the rate of inflation and following the instructions of global financial institutions,» explained Alfredo Mantica, Italian Foreign Affairs undersecretary, who signed the agreement.

Italy is also considering canceling the debt of Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

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