Debt Relief for the Poorest: An Evaluation Update of the HIPC Initiative

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1 Debt Relief for the Poorest: An Evaluation Update of the HIPC Initiative Victoria Elliott Shonar Lala ODI: Re-Examining Sovereign Debt Series July 11,

2 Builds on findings of IEG s 2003 evaluation Clarify the objectives and how they are to be achieved Debt relief must be additional, but not yet enough evidence to determine this Prospects for debt sustainability tenuous or poor in the majority of completion point countries Maintain policy standards for qualification 2

3 HIPC Initiative s objectives remain largely unchanged Key objective is to provide eligible countries a base from which to achieve debt sustainability and exit the rescheduling cycle Has maintained its objective of freeing up resources for poverty reduction Some stakeholders consider poverty reduction the primary objective of debt relief 3

4 Debt relief has been additional 20 Net Transfers (billions of $s) Actual: 11% grow th rate Trend: -3% grow th rate Total Net Transfers Non-Debt Relief Transfers 4

5 so HIPC countries get a larger share of aid Share of Net Resource Transfers % 54% 60% 46% Other Developing Countries 38 HIPCs 5

6 even though HIPC countries have weaker policies and institutions 4 Overall CPIA Score HIPCs Other Developing Countries 6

7 Debt ratios have regressed for many HIPC beneficiaries Relief granted under E- HIPC reduced debt ratios to half their initial levels in 18 countries But debt ratios have deteriorated subsequently in 11 out of 13 countries with current data In 8 countries, they exceed HIPC thresholds of 150% or 250% Before relief After relief Current estimate (2003) Mean Debt Ratios (NPV of debt to exports/revenues) Export Fiscal 310%

8 Why have post-completion point countries debt ratios risen? 0.4 Change in Debt Ratios (%) Discount Rates Exchange Rates New Borrowing Export/Fiscal Revenues Total -0.3 Factors Affecting Debt Ratios Early Later 8

9 HIPC beneficiaries continue to be vulnerable Risk of debt distress Vulnerabilities Burkina Faso Moderate Needs to remain macro-economically stable and continue to mobilize revenues Ghana Mali Mauritania Tanzania Uganda Ethiopia Rwanda Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High High Double trade shock; hinges on highly concessional financing Poor export performance or less favorable terms of donor financing; a nominal depreciation Fiscal policy slippages and external shocks Poor export performance or less favorable terms of donor financing Heavy reliance on donor support; macroeconomic shocks and imprudent debt management Terms of new borrowing and export shocks in particular; but sensitive to most stress tests Needs highly concessional financing and swift diversification of exports Source: Low Income Country Debt Sustainability Analyses 9

10 Post-completion point countries have grown the fastest in recent years Real GDP Growth Rates Old ( ) Early ( ) Recent ( ) 18 Post-completion point Non-HIPC IDA only Decision point Pre-decision point Source: World Development Indicators 10

11 and still score highest on key policy ratings Overall CPIA Score Post CP HIPC DP HIPC Non HIPC IDA Only Pre DP HIPC 11

12 Modest progress on MDGs in 18 postcompletion point countries Countries with data Progress: 1999 to 2004 Reduce child mortality 18 Improvement Promote gender equality and empower women 4 Improvement Achieve universal primary education 13 Modest improvement Ensure environmental sustainability 17 Modest improvement Develop a global partnership for development Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 11 Modest improvement 14 No change Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty 1 No change Improve maternal health 0 UNKNOWN 12

13 HIPCs not yet at decision point have the worst governance of all low-income countries Government Effectiveness (KKM) Post CP HIPC Non HIPC IDA only DP HIPC Pre DP HIPC 13

14 Debt management capacity has worsened in all low-income countries Debt Service and Debt Management (C PIA ) Post CP HIPC DP HIPC Non HIPC IDA Only Pre DP HIPC 14

15 Summary HIPC is affecting the overall allocation of concessional resources Debt relief alone does not guarantee debt sustainability Countries not yet at decision point face serious challenges in managing their economies HIPC countries need help in improving their debt management capacity 15

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