Kyrgyzstan is in an uproar again over HIPC. I talked about HIPC quite a bit with the university students earlier this year and there were few topics that got as heated as this one (see here, here, and here).
Earlier this year Kulov said that Kyrgyzstan will owe $100 million in interest payments over the next three years. $100 million is a huge number in Kyrgyzstan. So far $39,000 has been raised to cover these payments so HIPC won't be necessary. There isn't $100 million available in Kyrgyzstan over the next three years, not to mention the continuing payments after toward the $2 billion currently owed.
Even though HIPC is not an attractive option to many in Kyrgyzstan, what else is the country going to do? I understand that it is annoying to have other countries come in and tell you what to do. I know I sound like an imperialist snob for saying this. But the money was borrowed and it has to be paid back. HIPC would write off as much as half of the $2 billion in exchange for reforms that are necessary to get Kyrgyzstan's economy going. No one in Kyrgyzstan can deny that corruption has had a seriously negative impact on the economy and there seems to be no political will to reduce that corruption (including the shadow economy which every single person in Kyrgyzstan is a part of). HIPC would at least require some reforms.
And please, Kyrgyzstan does not have enough natural resources to make it an object of prey for the World Bank or the West in general. And please stop trying to blame Akaev for this. I agree he caused a lot of the problems, but blaming Akaev won't solve the problems.
HIPC is not what we should be arguing about. HIPC would neither solve Kyrgyzstan's economic problems, nor would it make those problems significantly worse. There are so many other things contributing to Kyrgyzstan's economic woes that this outcry over HIPC is masking.
End of imperialist rant. Actually what I really wish is that there were a way for all countries that qualify for HIPC to write off every penny of their debt and use that money to get their economies going. Without corruption. When I have my own world.