Press Statement
Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 30, 2009


The United States supports the government of Côte d’Ivoire's commitment to an International Monetary Fund-supported economic reform program and attainment of the first stage of debt relief under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). To achieve economic stability and make progress toward completing the HIPC debt relief process, we urge Côte d’Ivoire to fully implement its reform measures, especially those related to fiscal discipline and transparency.

The IMF Executive Board’s March 27 decision to support HIPC “decision point” and an assistance program under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Côte d’Ivoire will unlock IMF, World Bank, and other donor support, allowing Côte d’Ivoire to increase funding for urgent needs in health, education, and rural development. Although Cote d’Ivoire’s entry into the HIPC process represents an important milestone, Côte d’Ivoire’s long-term economic growth and development hinge on a stable political environment.

The United States believes that long-delayed presidential elections are still technically possible in 2009 and calls on all parties to take every step necessary to ensure that credible elections go forward as promised. There has been significant progress, with over 5.7 million people already enrolled as voters on a preliminary basis. The United States urges the government of Côte d’Ivoire to re-commit itself to 2009 elections as a further demonstration of its determination to put an end to the difficulties that the country has faced since 2002.



PRN: 270