MDG 8 - Debt Sustainability

Date of commitment: 
September 2000



  • 8.D Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long run
  • 8.B Address the special needs of least developed countries, [including an] enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and cancellation of official bilateral debt


  • 8.10. Total number of countries that have reached their HIPC decision points and number that have reached their completion points (cumulative)
  • 8.11. Debt relief committed under HIPC initiative
  • 8.12. Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services


No numerical targets were set.


Target 8.D: The debt problems of developing countries are not being dealt with comprehensively. Middle and low-income countries suffering from debt distress, but not eligible for the HIPC initiative, have no access to debt relief or to orderly sovereign debt workouts.

Target 8.B: Substantial progress has been made in providing debt relief to countries eligible for HIPC and MDRI.

  • Indicator 8.10: 36 out of 39 countries have reached HIPC completion point, as at April 2015.
  • Indicator 8.11: $76 billion in debt relief was committed under the HIPC Initiative and additional $49 billion under the MDRI, as at December2014.
  • Indicator 8.12: Debt service of developing countries, as a percentage of their exports, stood at 32.9% in 2014.


No numerical targets were set, thus it is difficult to measure a gap.

The world lacks a comprehensive debt workout mechanism within which to treat sovereign debt crises adequately. In the context of the HIPC Initiative, 4 countries have yet to reach HIPC completion point (1 country between decision point and completion point, and 3 others have not yet reached the decision point).


The HIPC Initiative has been complemented by the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).

More information about the Millennium Declaration
Data source: 
World Bank and IMF