7 Feb 2010

G7 countries to cancel Haiti debt

3:00 pm on 7 February 2010

The world's leading industrialised nations have pledged to write off some of Haiti's debt, following last month's devastating earthquake.

The decision was made at a meeting of G7 nations in northern Canada, the BBC reports.

Canada's finance minister Jim Flaherty said the seven countries plan to cancel Haiti's bilateral debt, and he would encourage international lenders to do the same.

The G7 group also includes the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It is unclear how much Haiti owes G7 nations.

More than 200,000 people died in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake on 12 January, which destroyed or damaged much of Haiti's infrastructure.

Bilateral and multilateral lenders including international bodies cancelled some $US1.2 billion of Haiti's debt in 2009.