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National Responsibility and the Just Distribution of Debt Relief among Countries - Essay Example

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The paper "National Responsibility and the Just Distribution of Debt Relief among Countries" evaluates the arguments for and against total debt relief for poor economies. Taking all the points of view under consideration, the author suggests if highly indebted countries should be granted full debt relief…
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National Responsibility and the Just Distribution of Debt Relief among Countries
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Download file to see previous pages Firstly, there is a strong case to be made for total debt relief from a post-colonial reparation perspective.  Most countries that presently fall under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) category are former colonies for European imperialism.  The HIPC group is predominantly comprised of countries from Africa and Asia.  A primary reason for their prevailing impoverished economy was the exploitation suffered by them during the colonial period.  Similarly, the prevailing political chaos in most of these countries is partly due to the abrupt transition of power from the imperialists to the local elite – a transition that did not make provisions for the establishment of democratic institutions and processes. 

The HIPC Initiative conceived and proposed by the World Bank and its agencies is one of the methods through which Third World Debt could be reduced.  In other words, the initiative is intended to “release resources for poverty reduction, increase incentives for reforms, and remove a deterrent for both domestic and foreign investors”.  According to the World Bank, as of June 2006 "nominal debt service relief of more than US$59 billion has been approved for 29 countries through the HIPC Initiative, reducing their Net Present Value of external debt by approximately two-thirds. Of these countries, 19 have reached the completion point and have been granted unconditional debt service relief of over US$37 billion."  While statistics such as these sound promising, the success of the program would depend on how the availed debt-relief translates into meaningful economic development in the years to come.  But as of now, the World Bank’s Comprehensive Development Framework has not charted out viable plans for all aspects of development.  Although the HIPC Initiative is not intended to provide complete debt relief, its proper execution is supposed to bring about substantial changes to the economies of indebted countries, thereby significantly alleviating poverty in these countries. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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