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Campaigns & Activities

European Campaigners Demand G7 Cancel Haitiís Debts
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As G7 finance ministers gather in Iqaluit, Canada, to discuss reforming the global financial system, STWR joins campaigners from around the world in demanding that the IMF immediately and unconditionally cancel Haiti’s debt.

Press release: European Campaigners Demand G7 Cancel Haiti’s Debts

Civil society statement: Campaigners Express Dismay at IMF’s New Debts to Haiti

Further Resources

4th February 2010


European Campaigners Demand G7 Cancel Haiti’s Debts

Campaigners from across Europe joined with Haitian civil society groups today in condemning the failure of the International Monetary Fund to cancel Haiti’s debts, and the Fund’s extension of new loans to Haiti. As G7 finance ministers prepare to meet in the far North of Canada tomorrow, campaigners released a statement demanding the immediate and unconditional cancellation of Haiti’s entire debt.

Camille Chalmers of the Haitian Advocacy Platform for Development (PAPDA) said:

“The debts imposed by the IFIs and the major world powers have contributed to destroying our country. It's the equivalent of an earthquake which has lasted from late in 1983 when we signed the first  standby agreement with the IMF. These loans have caused earthquakes, aftershocks and tremors which have undermined our institutions and our capacity to respond to a crisis of this magnitude."

A cross-party group of British Parliamentarians (1) led by Sally Keeble MP also signed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, to support debt cancellation and calling the situation faced by Haiti “completely unacceptable”.

In addition, the European Network on Debt and Development released a briefing outlining Haiti’s debts which show that Haiti owes as much debt now as was cancelled by the international community only 9 months ago: $1.2 billion. It also shows that in the coming 9 years the IMF will expect Haiti to repay at least $104 million – and over $500million will be expected in that time by all of Haiti’s creditors combined.

Notes:

(1) Other Parliamentarians: Peter Bottomley MP, Ben Chapman MP,  Andy Reed MP,  Baroness Tonge and Diana Abbott MP


Campaigners Express Dismay at IMF’s New Debts to Haiti

We express our serious disappointment that the International Monetary Fund has extended $102million loan to Haiti, with no mention of debt cancellation. Haiti will now owe the IMF over $250million.

Hundreds of thousands of activists have called on their governments in recent days to ensure that substantial grant aid, rather than loans, is given to Haiti and that all of Haiti’s debts are wiped out.

Although IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn had given his support for efforts to “delete all the Haitian debt, including our new loan" last week, there were no signs of cancellation at the IMF meeting which took place in Washington DC last week. The World Bank (owed $39million) and Inter-American Development Bank (owed $447million) have also expressed support for debt cancellation, though have yet to formally agree a deal. Much of this money was lent at a time when Haiti had massive, odious debts recklessly and immorally lent to dictatorial regimes.

Only two days after a developing country – Venezuela – announced it’s intention to cancel Haiti’s debt outright, we find in unconscionable that the IMF, run by the richest countries in the world, cannot do the same. We are concerned that the Haitian disaster – like the financial and economic crisis last year – has become another opportunity for the IMF to extend its operations. This is further proof of why the IMF should not be involved in development.

Moreover, the IMF communication is misleading in announcing loans as part of the relief effort that the international community has mobilised for Haiti. Actually the IMF loan will have to be spent as part of Haiti’s current programme with the Fund, which includes harmful economic and policy conditions which undemocratically force Haiti, amongst other things, to raise electricity tariffs and freeze public sector pay. We call on the IMF and its Board to lift them immediately.

We support the views of Haitian civil society groups like PAPDA: the Haitian Advocacy Platform for Development:

“The debts imposed by the IFIs and the major world powers have   contributed to destroying our country. It's the equivalent of an  earthquake which has lasted from late in 1983 when we signed the first   standby agreement with the IMF. These loans have caused earthquakes, aftershocks and tremors which have undermined our institutions and our capacity to respond to a crisis of   this magnitude."

We call on the IMF to immediately and unconditionally cancel all of Haiti’s debt, including its new loan, and for rich countries to make large grant aid available to Haiti as restitution for centuries of damage inflicted on that country.

Signed:

Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland
11.11.11- Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement
Plate-forme Dette & Développement
CCFD-Terre Solidaire
Jubilee Scotland
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale
Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización
European Network on Debt and Development
Both ENDS
Share the World’s Resources
Ekvilib Institute
Diakonia
Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
The Norwegian Coalition for Debt Cancellation
Norwegian Church Aid
Attac Norway
The Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin America
Latin American Solidarity Centre
KOO- Koordinierungsstelle der Österr. Bischofskonferenz  f. internationale Entwicklung und Mission
World Development Movement UK
Aktion Finanzplatz Schweiz
new economics foundation uk
Forum Syd
Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
CNCD (Belgium)
Attac España
erlassjahr.de
Freedom From Debt Coalition
The Development Research Center  (Bulgaria)
Vision du Monde
Christianaid (UK)
Berne Declaration (Switzerland)
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
Campaña ¿Quien debe a Quien?
Manuel zaguirre, President SOTERMUN (Spain)
Santiago González, Inrernational Dep. USO (Spain)
COEH: Coordination Europe-Haïti (a platform of 65 European NGO’s and solidarity groups in Europe working with Haïti)


Further Resources

Haiti Debt: Latest News - Jubilee Debt Campiagn

Take Action: Drop Haiti's Debt - Jubilee Debt Campaign

Haiti's Debt Burden: The Real Story - Eurodad

For more information contact:
Nick Dearden, Jubilee Debt Campaign
020 7324 4724; 07932 335 464