Highly-Indebted Poor Countries Initiative

Under the deal, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Fund will immediately write off 100% of the money owed to them by 18 countries – a total of $40bn.

BBC story

Maybe someone will be along in a minute to explain to me why this isn’t as good as it sounds. Maybe most of the countries’ debts aren’t to those organisations; maybe there are countries that should be included but aren’t. But until such a person comes along to tell me that this isn’t great news, I’ll continue to think that it is.

Bob Geldof was on Friday Night with Jonathon Ross last night, promoting the Live8 concerts. I can’t see how anyone could fail to be inspired by him; he’s such an insightful speaker. While I generally consider national boundaries to be an artificial—though possibly necessary—divide, Sir Bob is one of few Irish people who would make me proud to be associated with them, if only by that tenuous link.