Minister O'Donnell Praises British Debt Write Off
Overseas Development and Human Rights Minister of State Liz O'Donnell has welcomed the announcement by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Browne that Britain is to write off the debt of some of the world's poorest countries.
"This is a hugely significant and welcome move and will make a real difference to poor people", the Minister of State said. " Relief from the crushing burden of debt will make it possible for many countries to devote much needed resources to basic health and education programmes. We know from our direct engagement with the least developed countries that debt servicing undermines much of our development efforts."
The Minister added that Ireland is not owed any money by developing countries since all our official assistance is in the form of grants, not loans. Nevertheless, Ireland is contributing substantial sums both to the Trust Fund for Highly Indebted Poor Countries and directly to some countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique.
Minister O'Donnell added
"Ireland will continue to work internationally for further debt relief and write off of unrepayable debt. Every penny spared in this way must go to reducing poverty and its impact".