In its forthcoming national budget for 2007 the Norwegian government will propose to the Parliament (Stortinget) to cancel NOK 520 million of official debts from Ecuador, Egypt, Jamaica, Peru and Sierra Leone.

The claims originate from the Norwegian Ship Export Campaign (1976-80).

This campaign represented a development policy failure. As a creditor country Norway has a shared responsibility for the debts that followed. In cancelling these claims Norway takes the responsibility for allowing these five countries to terminate their remaining repayments on these debts, says Minister of International Development, Erik Solheim.

The Government proposes that these claims be cancelled unilaterally and unconditionally, without budgetary allocation and without reporting the cancelled amounts as Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the OECD. The debt cancellation will, in other words, be additional to Norway’s ordinary ODA.

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