From Melinda St. Louis
Yesterday the IMF Board voted to give Haiti a $102 million loan.
Despite last week’s announcement from the IMF’s Managing Director committing to work for debt cancellation and to turn the new loan into a grant, the IMF made no mention of canceling Haiti’s current $165 million debt to the institution or canceling the debt on the new loan.
Due to our pressure, Secretary of State Clinton and high level officials from the IMF, World Bank, and the Inter American Development Bank are considering debt cancellation. Yet, with yesterday’s vote, the IMF will actually double Haiti’s debt to the institution.
As a Jubilee USA member, you know this is possible. In recent years, our call to break the chains of debt has been heard far and wide. In the past week, you and hundreds of thousands continued to call for Haiti’s debt cancellation; you wrote great letters to the editor and called the White House. Jubilee USA led more than 80 organizations, representing more than 30 million people, to urge the Treasury Department to use its leadership to cancel Haiti’s debt.
Now lenders have begun to say the right things about erasing Haiti’s still-devastating debt. But their words will ring hollow if they do not act decisively and quickly. G-7 Finance Ministers will be meeting next week to discuss Haiti.
Representative Maxine Waters is asking her fellow Representatives to sign a letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner calling on him to use his power in the international financial institutions to negotiate Haiti’s debt cancellation immediately and give grants, not more loans. Click here to send a message to your Member of Congress and sign our petition today.
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