Press Release: IMF to Extend 100 Percent Debt Relief to Rwanda Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

December 23, 2005

Mr. Lars Engström, the IMF Resident Representative in Rwanda, issued the following statement on December 22 in Kigali:

"Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the IMF Executive Board has approved debt relief for Rwanda (see Press Release No 05/286). As part of the Initiative, the IMF will provide 100 percent debt relief on all debt incurred by Rwanda to the IMF before January 1, 2005 that remains outstanding. This amounts to approximately US$76 million, or US$29 million excluding remaining assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. This debt relief should become available in early January as soon as the remaining consents of the contributors to the PRGF Trust Subsidy Account have been received. The international community has made these additional resources available to help Rwanda make progress toward its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"Rwanda has qualified for IMF debt relief because of its overall satisfactory recent macroeconomic performance, progress in poverty reduction, and improvements in public expenditure management. Economic growth in 2005 has accelerated and inflation declined. Implementation of Rwanda's poverty reduction strategy has been particularly successful in the social sectors, for example, the primary school net enrolment ratio is now at 91 percent and vaccine coverage varies between 80 and 95 percent in most provinces. In public expenditure management, an organic budget law has been submitted to parliament. Performance in these areas provides assurance that resources made available under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative will be used effectively.

"The IMF looks forward to working with Rwanda to help it develop a strong and stable economy and to make sustained progress toward the MDGs," he said.


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