Monthly Issue Update - October 31, 2006
Norway cancels illegitimate debt
On October 2, in an unprecedented move, Norway's International Development Minister, Erik Solheim, announced that the Norwegian government would unilaterally and unconditionally cancel US$80 million (NOK520 million) of illegitimate bilateral debt held by Ecuador, Egypt, Jamaica, Peru and Sierra Leone. Acknowledging that these debts stemmed from a “development policy failure”, Oslo also accepted that as a creditor country it had a shared responsibility for the debts. Furthermore, the cancellation will not form part of Norway’s Overseas Development Assistance, meaning that it will be additional to current aid spending.