Hochverschuldete Entwicklungsländer

Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)

The heavily indebted developing countries (also named "poor" countries) are a subgroup of the developing countries defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The aim of this classification in 1999 was a debt relief proposed by Germany and proposed by the G8 countries. The initiator at the time was Germany.

Of the current 36 countries, most are in Africa. A total of about 760.19 m people live in affected countries, which corresponds to 9.8% of the world's population.
world map Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
CountryPopulationGNI per capitaHuman Development IndexDebts
Afghanistan38.9 M500 USD0.51115.0%
Benin12.1 M1,280 USD0.54533.9%
Bolivia11.7 M3,180 USD0.71842.7%
Burkina Faso20.9 M770 USD0.45227.0%
Burundi11.9 M230 USD0.43321.9%
Cameroon26.5 M1,520 USD0.56334.7%
Central African Republic4.8 M500 USD0.39738.1%
Chad16.4 M630 USD0.39836.7%
Comoros0.9 M1,400 USD0.55424.5%
Democratic Republic of the Congo89.6 M550 USD0.48012.9%
Ethiopia115.0 M890 USD0.48528.4%
Gambia2.4 M750 USD0.49642.2%
Ghana31.1 M2,340 USD0.61144.3%
Guinea13.1 M1,020 USD0.47729.1%
Guinea-Bissau2.0 M760 USD0.48055.3%
Guyana0.8 M7,130 USD0.68232.7%
Haiti11.4 M1,320 USD0.51015.9%
Honduras9.9 M2,180 USD0.63450.0%
Ivory Coast26.4 M2,280 USD0.53842.2%
Liberia5.1 M570 USD0.48052.1%
Madagascar27.7 M470 USD0.52838.5%
Malawi19.1 M580 USD0.48324.8%
Mali20.3 M830 USD0.43436.3%
Mauritania4.6 M1,670 USD0.54673.1%
Mozambique31.3 M460 USD0.456154.4%
Nicaragua6.6 M1,850 USD0.66098.3%
Niger24.2 M550 USD0.39434.9%
Republic of the Congo5.5 M1,770 USD0.57461.1%
Rwanda13.0 M780 USD0.54381.1%
Sao Tome and Principe0.2 M2,060 USD0.62561.9%
Senegal16.7 M1,430 USD0.51271.7%
Sierra Leone8.0 M510 USD0.45253.0%
Tanzania59.7 M1,080 USD0.52941.3%
Togo8.3 M920 USD0.51533.5%
Uganda45.7 M800 USD0.54446.5%
Zambia18.4 M1,160 USD0.584170.7%

Criteria for admission

Before being included in the debt relief initiative, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund lay down strict criteria. The aim is to cancel debts only of those states that are already heavily indebted and are in all likelihood unable to pay these liabilities on their own. On the other hand, these states should also have the ability to grow out of poverty after a waiver. A state must therefore not only be particularly poor, but must also fulfil certain conditions at the political level.

These conditions are usually determined and monitored over several years in a three-stage process. Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan, for example, have been on the list for some time now of countries which, after all, fulfil the conditions of poverty. None of these 3 countries has so far been able to convincingly demonstrate or even show that the government is also capable of fighting poverty. To achieve this, it is also necessary to implement effective reforms in advance and to demonstrate success.

Doubts about sustainability

The aim of the initiative is to reduce poverty in the affected countries and to enable governments to stand on their own two feet through debt relief. The reform programmes controlled by the Community are designed to achieve effective action. An already economically weakened country may also use this debt relief to borrow money again from other states and not pay it back either.

Another injustice is that individual countries are rewarded with debt relief even though they have not managed to stand on their own two feet. Those countries that are just above the poverty line because their reforms have been successful are not rewarded.

Key figures in comparison

(All figures weighted according to population share.)
 Heavily Indebted Poor CountriesWorldUSA
Populations760.2 m7.8 bn331.5 m
GNP per capita998 USD11,077 USD64,140 USD
Government debt (% of GDP)49.3 %93.9 %119.0 %
Expenditure on education (% of GDP)3.7 %3.7 %5.0 %
Unemployment rate5.2 %6.2 %5.5 %
Literacy rate63.0 %86.7 %0.0 %
Electricity access45.9 %90.5 %100.0 %
Birthrate34.5 ‰17.3 ‰10.9 ‰
Life expectancy63.8 Jahre72.7 Jahre77.3 Jahre

Newly industrialized countriesList of newly industrialized countriesList of all 10 countries that are currently counted among the newly industrialized economies
Least developed countriesList of the 47 Least Developed CountriesDefinition and list of the 47 countries of the fourth world with inhabitants, geographical classification and further information
Developing countriesList of 152 developing countries of the Third WorldList of all 152 developing countries (Third World) with below-average living standards