The HIPC list is a joint initiative of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched in 1996. According to information obtained from the IMF Fact Sheet, the initiative aims to ensure that no poor country ever faces a debt burden that it cannot manage. The debt relief initiative works in such a way that multilateral financial organisations (including the IMF and the World Bank) collaborate with the governments of impoverished countries to lower their external debts to sustainable levels. The list looks at the following criteria: countries must be eligible to borrow from the World Bank’s International Development Agency, only countries facing an unsustainable debt burden which cannot be addressed through traditional debt relief mechanisms can get admitted, the countries must have established track records of development reforms and sound policies and they must also have an established poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) in place. Out of the 39 countries on this list, 34 are in Africa. The countries have a combined population of about 760 million people.
SOURCE: BUSINESS INSIDER AFRICA