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Published: 15 Jan. 2010
Group calls on U.S. Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner to help secure cancelation of Haiti's debt
NOTE: The initial estimate of Haiti's debt was $890 million. Since the time of this press release, ONE has learned of more debt Haiti owes, moving the tally on Haiti's total global debt from $890 million to just over $1 billion.
Washington, D.C.-ONE today called on global creditors to immediately cancel Haiti's $890 million debt and help give the earthquake-stricken country a fresh start by ensuring that new aid comes in the form of grants, not debt-incurring loans.
In a petition email sent to the group's more than two million members, ONE's U.S. Executive Director Sheila Nix said:
"One way we can help Haitians build a better tomorrow is to convince global creditors to cancel Haiti's $890 million international debt.
"Thankfully, the United States has already forgiven Haiti's past debts and now only gives assistance in the form of grants. We need Haiti's other creditors-the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and countries like Taiwan and Venezuela-to follow our lead and do the same.
"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to help make that happen."
The email petition is directed to Sec. Geithner because he has the power to help convince these global creditors to cancel Haiti's $890 million international debt and make sure that every available dollar goes to relief and recovery. To view the petition, visit http://www.one.org/us/actnow/drophaitiandebt/
Even before the earthquake hit, Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, faced tremendous challenges. Haiti's lack of development-which translates into a lack of government capacity for emergency preparedness-undoubtedly magnified the impact of this tragedy. In addition to creating a very real and immediate humanitarian tragedy, this earthquake and the struggle to navigate its aftermath will be an enormous setback to the hard-won gains that Haiti has achieved in recent years in fighting poverty and working toward a more stable future.
This tragedy and its aftermath demonstrates how investments in long-term development, especially in fragile and disaster-prone states like Haiti, could help countries deal with disasters, and also keep them on track to develop. Moving forward, humanitarian and recovery assistance should come as grants, not loans, so that Haiti is not burdened with future large debts due to a tragedy beyond its control.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org
is the amount of international debt Haiti still owes to global creditors like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. This number was updated from the initial reports that Haiti held $890 million in international debt.
Haiti's past debts and now only gives assistance in the form of grants.
can use the United States' influence with the IMF, World Bank and other global creditors to convince them to drop Haiti's debt.