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Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises$
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Barry Herman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Shari Spiegel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578788

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578788.001.0001

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Human Development Advocacy for Debt Relief, Aid, and Governance

Human Development Advocacy for Debt Relief, Aid, and Governance

(p.298) 11 Human Development Advocacy for Debt Relief, Aid, and Governance
Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises

Henry Northover

Oxford University Press

This chapter emphasizes that there had been a struggle to change creditor government thinking. Despite the HIPC Initiative being a response to popular pressure, the creditor community put human development concerns into a separate box when it required HIPCs to formulate — in cooperation with the World Bank — ‘Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers’ (PRSPs). The goal of debt relief itself was couched in terms of reducing HIPC debt as much as needed until the remaining obligations were ‘sustainable’ in the sense of being within the capacity of the debtor government to pay over time without significant economic and financial adjustment. Many civil society advocates rejected this approach as still privileging creditor interests, underscoring that essential anti‐poverty expenditures would be sacrificed to debt servicing. They developed an alternative in which, first, reasonable targets were estimated for debtor government domestic revenue; second, essential anti‐poverty expenditures were subtracted; and third, the remaining amounts, if any, could be used for debt servicing.

Keywords:   heavily indebted poor countries, World Bank, Poverty Reduction Strategic Papers, development

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