12:00—1:30 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L Street NW
- Fifth Floor

Debt Reduction for Life: Impact of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative on Child Mortality

A Brownbag Seminar


Eric Djimeu
Evaluation Specialist for HIV/AIDS
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation


Amanda Glassman
Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow

Center for Global Development

Between 1996 and 2012, 28 Sub-Saharan African countries benefited from $52 billion in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, launched by the World Bank and IMF. One of the initiative’s core objectives was to reduce poverty through improvements in health. The HIPC initiative has been explicitly linked to poverty reduction, but did it meet its goal of improving health outcomes?

To find out, Eric Djimeu looked at differences in participation in the HIPC initiative across countries and time and identifies its effects on child and infant mortality. He found that participation in the initiative is associated with a 16 percent and 12.5 percent reduction in child and infant mortality, respectively, and that the effects are largest in the poorest countries and countries with a low level of governance and institutional quality. Djimeu also found the HIPC initiative is associated with a significant increase in government expenditure on education and agriculture, but not on health.


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