Washington, DC - The International Monetary Fund and World Bank announced that Somalia qualifies to receive debt relief. In three years time, Somalia's debt will be reduced from $5.2 billion to $557 million.
"Debt relief for Somalia is incredibly exciting news and can't come soon enough," said Eric LeCompte who leads Jubilee USA, a development group that advocated for debt relief for the African country. "Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world and this relief is vital to confront extreme poverty in the country."
Nearly three quarters of Somalia's people live in extreme poverty, according to the United Nations Development Programme.
Somalia is the 37th country to qualify for debt relief under a global agreement that Jubilee USA and partners won in the early 2000s. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative or HIPC process dedicates debt relief for health and education aid for developing countries. The HIPC process also opens the door for Somalia to borrow again.
"Other creditors still need to fund and agree to the process in the months ahead, but this is a huge step forward in the fight against poverty in Somalia," said LeCompte.
Read the IMF Announcement of Somalia Debt Relief here