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African debt cancellation

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Sunday, 12 June 2005

African debt cancellation

The world's richest countries agreed to write off the debt owed by 18 mainly African countries.
Mr Blair will hold talks in Luxembourg whose presidency of the EU the UK will take over in July. Under the package agreed by G8 finance ministers meeting in London on Saturday, the world's richest countries said they would write off the $40bn (£22bn; 33bn euros) debt owed to them.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Fund will immediately write off 100% of the money owed them by nations including Benin, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Ghana. The end will not be achieved until we have the complete package... of debt cancellation, doubling of aid, and trade justice

Singer Bob Geldof, who has organised the global Live 8 concerts to highlight global poverty and put pressure on the G8 to act, hailed the deal as "the beginning". But he added: "The end will not be achieved until we have the complete package... of debt cancellation, doubling of aid, and trade justice."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a veteran of the fight against apartheid in South Africa, said: "It is a splendid start and one hopes that they will, from here, go on to cancel all debt for most of the countries - I gather it is about 62 countries - who are heavily indebted."