Debt Relief Under the HIPC Initiative: Context and Outlook for Debt Sustainability and Resource Flow


Doris C Ross ; Lisandro Abrego

Publication Date:

September 1, 2001

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper discusses the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in the perspective of sizable historical debt relief and large positive net resource flows to HIPCs. It argues that, by substantially reducing HIPCs’ debt stocks and debt service payments, the Initiative provides a solid basis for debt sustainability and room for increased social spending. For poverty reduction, HIPC relief is important but broader international support is needed. The paper maintains that, as experience has shown, external support can be effective only if it reinforces sound policies implemented by HIPCs themselves. Thus, debt relief and official development assistance are critical as “help for self-help.”


Working Paper No. 2001/144



Publication Date:

September 1, 2001



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