Nicaraguan civil society fears delay in debt process

15 January 1998

Nicaraguan civil society organisations (CSOs) fear Nicaragua will not qualify for the HIPC Debt Initiative before the population has suffered further. To qualify Nicaragua must complete a 3-year ESAF programme with the IMF, but the government was unable to comply with many of the conditions in its previous ESAF programme and there is no consensus about the design of, and compliance with, the latest IMF-designed programme. The CSOs believe that compliance with a new ESAF “would subject the country to additional social tensions of serious consequences for the country”. Much of the population are already suffering from underemployment and rising living costs. The debt burden is hampering adjustment efforts and forcing the government to impose even harsher measures.

The CSOs are calling for the ESAF programme to be developed with the participation of the country’s main social and economic actors, and for the government to make firm commitments to establishing satefy-net programmes.

They hope to press their concerns on the World Bank and IMF at April’s consultative group meeting in Geneva.

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