Poor Latin states get IDB debt write-off

March 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua will not have to pay back any outstanding loans to the Inter-American Development Bank.

The IDB said Friday it has approved complete debt relief to the countries totaling $3.4 billion in principal payments in addition to $1 billion in future interest payments.

"This decision represents a historic opportunity for a fresh start for Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua," said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. "The agreement backed by our membership will help these countries free up resources to invest in quality education, health and other social services their citizens need to overcome poverty."

By writing off the debt, IDB will be helping some of the poorest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to reach the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which aim to reduce global poverty by half from current levels by 2015.

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