25 February 2013

AfDB Approves Debt Relief for Comoros

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved debt relief for the Union of the Comoros following the country's attainment of the completion point under the enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). The Board also approved the Comoros' eligibility to benefit from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) to the tune of US $76.9 million.

In making the approvals in Tunis on Wednesday, the Board noted that the Bank Group's HIPC relief amounting to US $34.4 million (in end-2009 Net Present Value terms) had already been provided in the form of arrears clearance under the Post-Conflict Country Facility (PCCF).

The IMF and the World Bank approved the Comoros' Completion Point in December 2012, making it the 29th regional member country to complete the HIPC process. The Comoros received debt-relief assistance from creditors totaling US $144.8 million (in end-2009 NPV) terms. The Bank Group's contribution is estimated at US $34.4 million and US $30 million for the HIPC Initiative and the MDRI, respectively.

The Comoros' political and economic environment has improved since 2007 following the resolution of decades-long political and social crises. The country's economic and political environment is gradually improving following presidential elections in December 2010 and the clearance of arrears with creditors, including the Bank Group, thereby facilitating the implementation of the Completion Point triggers agreed upon at decision point.

Since the launch of its operations in the Comoros in 1977, the Bank Group has approved, as at 31 December 2012, 15 operations, representing net cumulative commitments of UA 58.88 million (about US $90.75 million), excluding special operations. Bank resources focused on the transport sector (40.4%), agriculture (10.6%), the multi-sector (25.9%), the water and sanitation sector (17.0%) and the education sector (6.1%).

At end-December 2012, the Bank's active portfolio in the Comoros, excluding emergency aid, comprised three operations totalling UA 15.87 million (US $24.46 million), devoted to water and sanitation and the multi-sector.

The country has also received UA 2.8 million (US $4.32 million) in emergency assistance from the Bank since 2008.

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