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G-8 Debt Relief Initiative "a Major Step"

G-8 Debt Relief Initiative "a Major Step" Against African Poverty – UN Envoy

New York, Jun 13 2005 7:00PM

The G-8 agreement on debt relief for developing countries announced by the finance ministers from the world's largest industrial nations is a "major step towards alleviating poverty in Africa," a senior United Nations official said today.

"These countries have been facing the challenge of a huge, unsustainable debt service payment," said Under-Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury, who is the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

"Consequently, their economic growth and development has been stunted." Mr. Chowdhury said in a statement released at UN Headquarters in New York Monday.

While welcoming the agreement, Mr. Chowdhury said that he hoped the G-8 initiative would be accomplished fully in a short time frame.

"Only 100% debt cancellation would free the resources needed in LDCs (landlocked developing countries) for investment in health, education and for fulfilling the basic needs of the population," he said.

ENDS

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