The Alliance For Change has issued an international plea for Haiti’s debts to be written off in light of the massive devastation that has hit the island county.
The party in a statement issued yesterday noted that even in the wake of the earthquake, Haiti’s obligation to pay off $600 million in unfair debt racked up years ago by corrupt governments and unscrupulous lenders still remains.
The party drew reference to the fact that after the 2004 tsunami, debt payments from countries like Sri Lanka were suspended to ensure that funds flowed to urgent priorities like food, water, and medicine.
According to the AFC, Haiti’s crisis is no different and it should not be asked to send money out when it desperately needs resources flowing in.
“At a moment like this, global financial institutions won’t be able to ignore a worldwide outcry…Help lift a massive burden from Haiti’s ability to rescue, recover, and rebuild…So along with raising money, let’s raise a million voices for emergency debt relief for Haiti.”
The AFC noted that “Even before the earthquake, Haiti was one of the world’s poorest countries due, in part, to a legacy of unjust debt stretching back to France’s demand for reparations after its 1804 revolution. In recent years, the tremendous worldwide campaign for debt relief has shown the power of public pressure to support poor nations. Guyana has been a beneficiary under HIPC but today, Haiti is scheduled to pay $10M this year to the IMF and Inter-American Development Bank, and still more millions to specific lender countries.
“Recovering from the earthquake will take years, even decades and as the headlines fade, donations will slow, but the burden of paying debts incurred by unelected governments will continue, unless we take this moment to make a change.
“Demand of the IMF, the World Bank, the IDB and other lenders that they cancel Haiti’s debts…All of it, please,” the Party asserted.
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