United States and Haiti Sign Agreement To Cancel 100% of Bilateral Debts

WASHINGTON – United States Ambassador Kenneth H. Merten and Haitian Minister of the Economy and Finance Daniel Dorsainvil today signed a bilateral debt relief agreement under the enhanced Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Recognizing Haiti’s successful completion of the HIPC Initiative, approximately $12.6 million – 100% of Haiti’s debt to the United States Government – will be forgiven under the terms of this agreement.

“I wish to congratulate Minister Dorsainvil and the entire Haitian government for their efforts in favor of fiscal responsibility,” said Ambassador Merten. “I am pleased to announce that we have now signed a bilateral Debt Reduction agreement with Haiti.

Under this agreement, the United States will erase 12.6 million dollars of bilateral debt, eliminating 100 percent of the Haitian government’s outstanding debt to the United States. “

Haiti’s successful implementation of economic and financial reforms was a critically important factor leading to these international commitments to provide debt relief to Haiti. This summer, Haiti met the requirements to complete the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (“HIPC”) initiative, qualifying Haiti for over 1.0 billion dollars of debt relief from multilateral and bilateral creditors.

The agreement signed Friday, Sept. 18th implements the U.S. portion of a multilateral accord that the Paris Club group of official creditors negotiated with Haiti on July 8, 2009, to cancel approximately $62.7 million in official debt. Haiti’s Paris Club creditors, including Canada, France, Italy and the United States intend to provide $152 million in additional debt cancellation beyond the requirements of the HIPC Initiative. As a result, Haiti’s entire debt to Paris Club members – estimated at $214 million – will be fully cancelled.

This debt forgiveness, combined with other multilateral debt forgiveness measures, will help Haiti bring its external public debt down and invest more in the social needs of the country.

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