[mgj-announce] Reason 12 to Join IMF/World Bank Protests - Third World Debt I
rob at essential.org
Thu Sep 19 19:51:04 EDT 2002
THIRD WORLD DEBT COSTS LIVES - I
REASON NO. 12 TO JOIN THE FALL PROTESTS
AGAINST THE IMF AND WORLD BANK
SEE WWW.GLOBALIZETHIS.ORG FOR PROTEST DETAILS
Large foreign debts are costing lives of the poorest people all over the
developing world, as countries struggle to make debt payments before
providing vital services. Many African nations are now literally
bankrupt and more than half pay more on debt service than health care
for their citizens.
Efforts towards debt cancellation for these nations is proving
successful in providing health care and putting kids back in school.
However, much more needs to be done to resolve the debt crisis for
African nations need $10 billion a year to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS,
according to the United Nations.
However, Sub-Saharan Africa pays out $14.6 every year in debt service to
A growing chorus of economic and health experts like Peter Piot of
UNAIDS and economist Jeffrey Sachs are calling for debt cancellation for
impoverished nations in order to put those resources into the fight
against AIDS and other health crises.
A new report, to be released prior to the World Bank and IMF meetings
this September, by Jubilee USA Network gives evidence that debt-relief
demonstrably works. The report cites great strides in education, health
care and AIDS prevention and treatment made in dozens of countries.
However, the report will also demonstrate that the World Bank and IMFs
program for relieving debt, the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative
(HIPC), has failed to resolve the debt crisis for impoverished nations,
exacerbating the AIDS crises and poverty in the developing world.
THE World Bank/IMF Debt Initiative is failing because:
* It takes too long to provide relief: after six years, only six
countries have completed the program, while over half in the program
have been delayed by IMF penalties.
* Too little debt relief has been provided: 18 of the 26 countries that
have received debt relief will continue to spend more on debt than
health for their citizens.
* The conditions countries must commit to are unreasonably complex, and
often harmful: in at least nine instances, the IMF has suspended
countries interim debt relief because the government was not in
compliance with IMF policy demands.
* Based on unrealistic expectations: The program was set up to fail
because it was based on unrealistic projections for economic growth
(almost double the rates of the previous 10 years) within HIPC
countries. Now, according to the World Bank, at least 9 countries are
expected to exit the program with unsustainable debt burdens, even as
defined by HIPC.
* To reduce debt, countries must incur new debt: governments must have a
loan agreement with the IMF in order to qualify for debt cancellation.
The HIPC Initiative has been nothing more than rescheduling debt
payments. It has not provided an "exit" to the debt crisis as promised.
This is adapted from a Jubilee USA fact sheet. For more information on
debt, see www.jubileeusa.org
- SEE WWW.GLOBALIZETHIS.ORG -
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