The HIPC Initiative and MDRI are nearly complete with 35 countries having already reached the completion point under the HIPC Initiative. One country, Chad, remains in the interim phase. Debt relief under the Initiatives has substantially alleviated debt burdens in recipient countries and has enabled them to increase their poverty-reducing expenditure by two and a half percentage points between 2001 and 2013. Creditor participation in the Initiative has been strong amongst the multilateral and Paris Club creditors; however participation from the other creditor groups still needs to be strengthened. The total cost of debt relief to creditors under the HIPC Initiative is currently estimated to be US$75.0 billion, while the costs to the four multilateral creditors providing relief under the MDRI is estimated to be US$41.1 billion in end-2013 present value terms.
This report provides an update on the status of implementation of the HIPC Initiative and the MDRI over the past year. Given that most HIPCs have reached the completion point, in November 2011, the IMF and IDA Boards2 endorsed staff’s proposal to further streamline reporting of progress under the HIPC Initiative and MDRI. It was agreed that the annual HIPC Initiative/MDRI status of implementation report will be discontinued, while the core information—on debt service and poverty reducing expenditure, the cost of debt relief, creditor participation rates, and litigation against HIPCs—should continue to be made available and updated regularly on the IMF and World Bank websites.
This first issue for 2006 is anchored by two papers on Russia. The opening paper discusses Russia and the World Trade Organization, and the concluding paper, by John Odling-Smee (former Director of the IMF's European II Department), presents a comprehensive and authoritative history of the IMF's relations with Russia during the 1990s. Other articles in this issue cover rent-seeking behavior, estimations of government net capital stocks, and three papers cover different aspects of exchange rates.