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

December 23, 2005

The following statement was issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF):

"Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the IMF Executive Board has approved debt relief for Benin (see Press Release No 05/286). As part of the Initiative, the IMF will provide 100 percent debt relief on all debt incurred by Benin to the IMF before January 1, 2005 that remains outstanding. This amounts to approximately US$52 million, or US$49 million excluding remaining assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries 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 Benin make progress toward its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"Benin has qualified for IMF debt relief because of its overall satisfactory recent macroeconomic performance, progress in poverty reduction, and improvements in public expenditure management. In particular, Benin has enjoyed a satisfactory economic expansion with low rates of inflation since 2000. The government has established a sound record of implementing the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), and this has resulted in an increase in the poor's access to social services. 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 Benin to help it develop a strong and stable economy and to make sustained progress toward the MDGs," he said.


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