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Hochverschuldete Entwicklungsländer
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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 739.95 m people live in affected countries, which corresponds to 9.6% of the world's population.
world map Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
CountryPopulationGNI per capitaHuman Development IndexDebts
Afghanistan38.0 M530 USD0.51113.6%
Benin11.8 M1,250 USD0.54527.4%
Bolivia11.5 M3,520 USD0.71835.8%
Burkina Faso20.3 M780 USD0.45223.9%
Burundi11.5 M280 USD0.43319.2%
Cameroon25.9 M1,500 USD0.56333.5%
Central African Republic4.7 M520 USD0.39737.0%
Chad15.9 M700 USD0.39832.1%
Comoros0.9 M1,400 USD0.55425.6%
Democratic Republic of the Congo86.8 M530 USD0.48011.1%
Ethiopia112.1 M850 USD0.48529.7%
Gambia2.3 M750 USD0.49640.0%
Ghana30.4 M2,220 USD0.61141.1%
Guinea12.8 M930 USD0.47723.5%
Guinea-Bissau1.9 M820 USD0.48044.2%
Guyana0.8 M6,630 USD0.68231.2%
Haiti11.3 M1,330 USD0.51015.4%
Honduras9.7 M2,390 USD0.63442.1%
Ivory Coast25.7 M2,290 USD0.53833.7%
Liberia4.9 M580 USD0.48050.0%
Madagascar27.0 M520 USD0.52829.9%
Malawi18.6 M380 USD0.48332.5%
Mali19.7 M870 USD0.43431.0%
Mauritania4.5 M1,660 USD0.54671.6%
Mozambique30.4 M490 USD0.456135.7%
Nicaragua6.5 M1,890 USD0.66097.0%
Niger23.3 M600 USD0.39426.7%
Republic of the Congo5.4 M1,720 USD0.57464.8%
Rwanda12.6 M830 USD0.54362.0%
Sao Tome and Principe0.2 M1,930 USD0.62560.4%
Senegal16.3 M1,460 USD0.51258.8%
Sierra Leone7.8 M540 USD0.45244.4%
Tanzania58.0 M1,080 USD0.52931.8%
Togo8.1 M690 USD0.51540.0%
Uganda44.3 M780 USD0.54440.8%
Zambia17.9 M1,430 USD0.584119.3%


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.
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