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Published: 5 Feb. 2010
Washington, D.C.- ONE called today's announcement by U.S. Department of Treasury to support comprehensive multilateral relief of Haiti's debts "critical" in advancing Haiti's recovering in the wake of the devastating earthquake in January. U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's announcement comes on the eve of the G7 meeting of finance ministers in Canada where relieving Haiti's debt is reported to be on the agenda.
"ONE commends Secretary Geithner and the Administration for demonstrating leadership to advance debt relief for Haiti. The G7 finance ministers should follow this announcement with commitments of their own to support cancellation this weekend," said ONE's President and CEO David Lane. "Just as the world community has come together to deliver aid in Haiti's time of need, it is equally critical that Haiti not be burdened over the long term with large debts due to a tragedy beyond its control."
"Building on this momentum, ONE will deliver a petition tomorrow, at the G7 meeting in Canada, signed by more than 200,000 ONE members urging global creditors to cancel Haiti's $1 billion debt and give the country a clean slate by ensuring that new aid comes in the form of grants, not debt-incurring loans," continued Lane.
The United States has already forgiven Haiti's past debts and now only gives assistance in the form of grants. But Haiti's other creditors, including the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank-both of which the United States has major influence with-have yet to forgive all of Haiti's debt.
In total with ONE partner organizations Avaaz.org, Jubilee USA and Oxfam International, more than 415,000 signatures in all will be delivered tomorrow to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, host of this week's G7 Finance Ministers meeting.
To learn more about ONE's Drop Haiti's Debt Campaign, please visit http://www.one.org/c/us/hottopic/3215/
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. -###-