Minister Lenihan Welcomes Debt Relief Announcement
Mr Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, warmly welcomed today's announcement that the Minister for Finance had agreed to an Irish contribution of €59 million to the World Bank to help to meet the cost of debt cancellation for some of the world's poorest countries.
“Ireland has consistently pointed to the problem of indebtedness which represents a heavy burden for many of the poorest countries in the world and has recommended debt cancellation on certain conditions” the Minister said.
“The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative now being agreed at the World Bank is a significant step forward which will provide 100% debt cancellation for some heavily indebted poor countries. I hope that it will result in a net increase in the resources available to the beneficiary country governments for expenditure to reduce poverty and make available more and better services to their people”.
“Taken together with the budget for international development cooperation already adopted for 2006, today's announcement is a clear indication of Ireland's commitment to supporting the poorest countries in their efforts to improve the health, education and food security of their peoples.
Today's announcement represents another major increase in Ireland's aid spending, on a once-off basis, following a Budget which already provided for record increases in the aid budget”.