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Canada Holds Up Congo’s Debt Cancellation July 1st, 2010

Congo Street Child

Street Child in Congo DR

The World Bank announced yesterday that it was postponing the Democratic Republic of Congo’s long-awaited debt cancellation, even though the country has qualified. The postponement has come about at the request of Canada, because Canadian mineral firm First Quantum is in dispute with the government of DRC over mineral rights.

The DRC has been waiting for debt relief for 7 years, while the IMF and World Bank have satisfied themselves that the country has met numerous economic conditions. Politics has come into play before – last year the IMF held up DRC’s progress through the debt relief scheme because the country was proposing to take loans from China. Congo and China agreed to reduce the amount and terms of the loans late last year.

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