Poorest countries get another opportunity

Financial leaders have finally agreed to wipe out Ј22.5bn worth of debts for the world's poorest countries.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have agreed to the deal drafted by G8 leaders which followed worldwide protests earlier in the year.

The decisions now go to the executive boards of the two institutions, where they are expected to be approved.

There has been concern that cancelling the repayments for the 18 poorest countries would compromise the World Bank's ability to continue lending to others.

However, the G8 has issued a written pledge to cover the full cost.

The pledge came despite fears for the health of the world economy in the face of rising energy costs.

Oxfam estimates poor countries spend Ј50m a day on debt repayments, diverting precious resources away from critical social and development needs, Sky news reports.

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