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Jubilee Statements

Monitoring the impacts of government and corporate behaviour in communities overseas.

In the Wake of Earthquake Disaster, Cancel Haiti Debt

Release Date: 14-Jan-2010

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We express our deepest sympathy for the people of Haiti in this time of tragedy and suffering. Haiti needs the world to mobilise immediate relief and support - and now is also the time for international creditors, including the IMF and InterAmerican Development Bank, to cancel the financial debts still claimed from Haiti.

All of Haiti's limited resources should be directed at recovery, not repayment.

But last Thursday, the IMF announced a new debt package of $100 Million to help Haiti. This is not the type of 'help' Haiti needs, and will only bury the country further into debt: “Haiti desperately needs money delivered quickly, but the last thing Haiti needs right now is more debt. Loans for disaster relief are totally inappropriate. The international community cannot possibly expect Haiti to pay back a loan for emergency relief in the wake of this disaster,” said Neil Watkins, Executive Director Jubilee USA.

While two-thirds of Haiti's debt ($1.2 billion) was cancelled in June 2009 with the support of the international community, the country still has $641 million in debt on its books. This is because debt relief agreements from the IMF and other creditors only covered debts acquired up until 2004. New loans Haiti has received since then have been adding to its debt. Half of this total of $641 million is owed to the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and the IMF with the other half owed to other countries including Venezuela and Taiwan. In 2010, Haiti is projected to pay around $10 million to the IMF and IDB - and this is money Haiti simply can't pay now that this tragic earthquake has hit. (Source: Jubilee USA)

On Friday the Washington Post Editorial came out in support of this call: 
“There's more the president can do, including pressing the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions and creditor nations to forgive $641 million in debt owed by Haiti. That would be a modest first step toward what should be another goal of U.S. policy in the medium to long term -- helping the Haitian government of President René Préval, whose own palace was destroyed in the temblor, start to regain its footing.” 15 January, 2010.

TAKE ACTION - CALL FOR FOR HAITI'S DEBT TO BE DROPPED

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We express our deepest sympathy for the people of Haiti in this time of tragedy and suffering. Haiti needs the world to mobilise immediate relief and support - and now is also the time for international creditors, including the IMF and InterAmerican Development Bank, to cancel the financial debts still claimed from Haiti. All of Haiti's limited resources should be directed at recovery, not repayment.But last Thursday, the IMF announced a new debt package of $100 Million to help Haiti. This is not the type of 'help' Haiti needs, and will only bury the country further into debt:  said Neil Watkins, Executive Director Jubilee USA.While two-thirds of Haiti's debt ($1.2 billion) was cancelled in June 2009 with the support of the international community, the country still has $641 million in debt on its books. This is because debt relief agreements from the IMF and other creditors only covered debts acquired up until 2004. New loans Haiti has received since then have been adding to its debt. Half of this total of $641 million is owed to the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and the IMF with the other half owed to other countries including Venezuela and Taiwan. In 2010, Haiti is projected to pay around $10 million to the IMF and IDB - and this is money Haiti simply can't pay now that this tragic earthquake has hit. (Source: Jubilee USA) On Friday the Washington Post Editorial came out in support of this call:  “There's more the president can do, including pressing the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions and creditor nations to forgive $641 million in debt owed by Haiti. That would be a modest first step toward what should be another goal of U.S. policy in the medium to long term -- helping the Haitian government of President René Préval, whose own palace was destroyed in the temblor, start to regain its footing.” 15 January, 2010.

Send the message to Haiti's creditors that we want them to act quickly and cancel the remaining debts. To do this, we're encouraging Jubilee Australia supporters to sign the online petition of the ONE International Campaign - Drop the Haitian Debt - which is supported by our friends at Jubilee USA. Many of us care deeply about the levels of poverty in our world. Prospects for progress against poverty are being limited by a global economic system that excludes the poor. Over the long term, our efforts have to influence the broader economic forces if the poor are to do anything more than struggle against the tide.

In 2009, Jubilee continued to dig to the roots of poverty, challenging the policies and practices that hinder sustainable development in our region. Thank you to our supporters who partnered with us. We couldn't do it without you.

Many of us care deeply about the levels of poverty in our world. Prospects for progress against poverty are being limited by a global economic system that excludes the poor. Over the long term, our efforts have to influence the broader economic forces if the poor are to do anything more than struggle against the tide. In 2009, Jubilee continued to dig to the roots of poverty, challenging the policies and practices that hinder sustainable development in our region. Thank you to our supporters who partnered with us. We couldn't do it without you.