Should they pay while they starve?

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Should they pay while they starve?

Post by Guysanto » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:38 am

Dear Friends of Haiti,

Haiti is in the grip of the food crisis which is currently affecting much of the world, as soaring food prices cripple many poor countries. Meanwhile Haiti is still shelling out millions of dollars in debt repayments while its people starve. On June 13-14, the Finance Ministers of the G8 rich countries, including US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, will meet in Japan to decide what action they can take. By cancelling debts they could help alleviate the suffering of Haiti and other affected countries.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will be attending the G8 meeting. Please sign on to the petition to Secretary Henry Paulson ahead of this meeting, to urge faster debt cancellation for Haiti - and a moratorium on its debts in the meantime. Jubilee USA will deliver the petition to the Treasury department before Secretary Paulson departs.

Sign the petition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson now to call for debt cancellation for Haiti now. ... n_KEY=1252

The lack of affordable food has caused riots in Port au Prince, Haiti's capital, where UN peacekeepers used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters attempting to storm the presidential palace. Days later the Prime Minister was sacked and has yet to be replaced.

While some Haitians are reportedly eating dirt to quell their hunger, their government is forced to pay almost $1 million each week in debt service to wealthy banks that were supposedly established to fight poverty.

Haiti's current debt stands at $1.3 billion, 40% of which was run up by the Duvalier dictators who between 1957 and 1986 stole part of these loans for themselves, and used the rest to repress the population.
Haiti has now qualified for debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative but it still has to meet a series of conditions, including the sorts of economic policy reforms that have been so harmful in the past, before it can complete the HIPC process and access urgently needed debt cancellation. But Haiti should not be forced to continue repaying its debts in the midst of this emergency.

Haiti is just one country facing a double crisis as food prices soar while debt payments have to take precedence over tackling poverty. Jubilee USA Network is calling for immediate debt cancellation, and an interim moratorium on debt service, for Haiti and for ALL poor countries affected by the food crisis.

Sign the petition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson now to call for debt cancellation for Haiti now. ... n_KEY=1252

Thank you for your support.

Danielle Pals
Jubilee USA Network

Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:36 pm

Post by Barb » Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:50 pm

Me too.

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