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More than 48,000 ONE members made their voices heard in this campaign by emailing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to demand an end to the delay in forgiving Liberia's debt. The IMF usually hears only from governments, thus the voices of ONE members, individual concerned citizens, had a clear and dramatic impact in getting the IMF and its member nations to take action on debt relief for Liberia. The IMF Director for External Affairs even penned an open letter acknowledging the extraordinary role played by ONE members and other advocates, excerpted below:
I am pleased to inform you that on November 12, 2007, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has secured adequate pledges from member countries for the cost of the IMF's debt relief to Liberia...
We have received a large volume of emails on this topic, so this letter is being posted because it is impossible to respond to each message individually...
I take this opportunity to also thank all those who have expressed their concerns about Liberia's debt situation. Their strong support to the cause of debt relief contributed to the broad donor support that made this financing possible.
Liberia has a long, difficult road ahead. The country will have to meet tough standards to complete its IMF debt relief. But its first step is a significant one, putting Liberia on the path to take money it had been using to service its massive debt and instead invest in its people through projects and programs to alleviate poverty.
The opportunity is real and has been proven over and over again. For example, when Tanzania received debt relief, the government spent the savings on education and eliminated school fees. Almost overnight, an estimated 1.6 million children enrolled in school.
ONE will be watching closely to make sure the IMF, and the international donor community, keeps its debt relief commitments, and we are optimistic that Liberia will soon be able to put its savings towards long-overdue anti-poverty priorities.