Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on Debt Relief


Debt Relief

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US Forgives Iraq Debt To Clear Way for IMF Reforms (December 19, 2004)

Washington has cancelled all of its Iraqi debt and has urged other nations outside of the Paris Club to do the same. The decision keeps up appearances of an altruistic US intervention in Iraq, intended to free Iraqis from oppression and help a newly elected, "legitimate" government rebuild the war-torn country. Other Paris Club members have opposed full debt cancellation for Iraq, arguing that the same generous conditions should apply to poverty-stricken African nations. (BBC)

Debt Relief Weighed Down By IMF Burden (November 23, 2004)

The Paris Club of bilateral government creditors has agreed to cancel 80 percent of the Iraqi debt, but organizations supporting total debt cancellation criticize the proposal, pointing out that debt relief will come at the price of economic sovereignty. Debt cancellation, as stipulated in the agreement, is tied to economic programs issued by the International Monetary Fund. (Inter Press Service)

No Relief for the Poor (October 2, 2004)

The finance ministers of the richest countries – the Group of Seven (G7) – have failed to reach an anticipated agreement on debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries, saying that they require more time to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, civil society groups lobbying for 100% debt cancellation criticize the delay, claiming that "the world's richest countries have failed a moral test." (Inter Press Service)

Debt Sustainability: Oasis or Mirage? (September 30, 2004)

This 2004 report from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development addresses the debt problems of African countries in the context of the Millennium Development Goals. The report criticizes former debt relief initiatives for poor outcomes and suggests a "moratorium on debt servicing" and an independent panel to review the sustainability of debt. (UNCTAD)

Britain Offering to Pay Off 10% of Third World Debt (September 26, 2004)

Britain offers to pay off 10% of the $200 billion multilateral debt of poor countries, and calls on other rich countries to follow in its steps. In addition, the British government suggests that the International Monetary Fund should revalue its gold reserves and use the profits to cancel some third world debt. (New York Times)

When He Eats Little, She Eats Less (September 24, 2004)

In this Guardian article, economist Noreena Hertz shows how IMF and World Bank policies disproportionately hurt women. These institutions impose stringent loan conditions such as privatization and limited public expenditure. Hertz points out how falling public investments in water and sanitation force women to walk long distances for water and risk their personal safety. Also, in order to repay their vast debts, poor countries export cash crops, leading to scarcity of essential foodstuffs domestically. Women then sacrifice their own food intake in order to feed their families. According to Hertz, "debt is a feminist issue."

Groups See Hope for Debt Cancellation for Poorest Countries in Upcoming Meeting (September 22, 2004)

The Group of Seven (G-7), the world's wealthiest governments, will meet to decide whether to back a joint British-US proposal of total debt cancellation 33 of the world's poorest countries. Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) welcome this initiative but urge caution, stating that the debt elimination initiative might imply less aid money for poor nations. (One World)

Don't Make Poor Nations 'Pay' for Debt Cancellation (September 14, 2004)

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) criticizes the US proposal for a total debt cancellation for Highly Indebted Poor Countries. CAFOD calls the initiative "not so much a 100% debt cancellation as a 100% debt makeover." The Treasury Department's proposal implies that the US will finance debt cancellations with aid money.

Global Apartheid Continues to Haunt Global Democracy (September 9, 2004)

This article explains that the debt burden and the practices of aid conditionality repress poor countries and form a part of the "global apartheid" system. Global apartheid represents "a new face of colonialism or even slavery" which can be stopped through political will and debt cancellation, concludes the article. (Pambazuka News)

G8 Leaders Rebuff Africa's Request for Debt Cancellation (June 11, 2004)

Many African countries are burdened by huge national debts that stifle development efforts. Leaders of selected African countries made an "emotional plea" to the G8 for debt cancellation so that limited finances could be directed toward economic and social issues. The G8 denied debt relief, and instead offered a moderate extension of the "heavily indebted poor countries" (HIPC) initiative. (Globe and Mail)

A New Approach to the Third World Debt Crisis (June 9, 2004)

If rich countries were to forgive poor nations' debts, development would not necessarily follow. Cancellation would absolve debt created by local elites, without redistributing economic power to the population or guaranteeing that the deficits would not quickly recur. This article urges rich governments to implement "proactive" policies to address poor countries' need for capital and to empower their citizens' search for economic alternatives. Such policies would make debt relief a sustainable development measure, rather than a temporary reprieve. (Global Exchange)

Least Developed Countries in a "Trap" of Poverty, Ocampo Says (February 17, 2004)

Rich nations argue over the amount of relief to give to highly indebted countries. In particular, the US Treasury, a key board member of the IMF and World Bank asserts that poor countries will use debt relief as a platform to borrow more from these international financial institutions. (Eurodad Debt Listserve)

Doing Nothing for Ethiopia (February 13, 2004)

Jubilee Research condemns the powerful creditors, largely the US, Germany and Japan, who are attempting to avoid increasing debt relief for poor countries. This situation reveals the hypocrisy in today's global economic system.

Debt Relief for Poor Countries Held Up by Discord (February 12, 2004)

Jose Antonio Ocampo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, argues that poor countries are "caught in a trap" where "slow growth reduces foreign investment, which in turn limits growth." Ocampo highlights that the heavy external debt burden of LDCs further inflames this situation. (UN Wire)


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It's Greed, Not Ideology, that Rules the White House (December 23, 2003)

The US argues that the "Iraqi people should not be saddled with the debt of a brutal regime." At the same time, it opposes all attempts of debt cancellation for Argentina, whose similarly cruel dictators accumulated an enormous debt with the complicity of Henry Kissinger. Naomi Klein contends that only the profits US corporations expect from Iraq's reconstruction can explain this discrepancy. (Guardian)

Odious Rulers, Odious Debts (November 2003)

Economist Joseph Stiglitz calls for an international set of laws governing the restructuring and relief of international debt. He particularly urges forgiveness of "odious debts," accumulated by dictatorial regimes in Iraq, Congo, Ethiopia, and elsewhere, to finance the oppression of its people – who are now asked to repay the debts. (Atlantic Monthly)

A Spectre Haunts the Post-Cancun World (October 6, 2003)

Since the 1980s, deregulation and liberalization of trade and capital flows undermined domestic policy efforts to support equitable and sustainable growth, says Rubens Ricupero, secretary-general of UNCTAD. He urges for debt relief and better conditions of debt repayment, to ensure that international trade and finance promote development. (Guardian)

From Debt to Death (September 27 – October 10, 2003)

Droughts and diminishing institutional credits in agriculture have driven Indian farmers into debt. Moreover, agricultural globalization through the WTO regime forced the government to end subsidies and to withdraw safety nets. Frontline (India) contends that this evolution explains the rising number of suicides among poor Indian farmers.

Obasanjo Tasks International Community on External Debt (September 24, 2003)

Nigeria's President Obasanjo urges the international community to tackle Africa's debt burden. The various initiatives of multilateral and bilateral creditors to relieve debt do not sufficiently address the problem. (Vanguard, Nigeria)

Real Progress Report on HIPC (September 2003)

This report analyzes achievements and failures of the IMF's HIPC-initiative to restore long-term debt sustainability to highly indebted poor countries. Jubilee Research urges the IMF to evaluate debt sustainability according to the resources needed for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, rather than in relation to export incomes.

Debt Relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative (September 2003)

While admitting that "HIPC is no panacea," this IMF fact sheet does not respond to the critique of the HIPC mechanism as such. Highly indebted poor countries can qualify for debt relief only if they implement IMF and World Bank-prescribed programs of "reform and sound policies," which in several cases caused poor countries' breakdowns.

Debt and the Millennium Development Goals (September 2003)

CAFOD, Christian Aid and Eurodadurge multilateral and bilateral donors to undertake policy actions to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The joint paper argues that without the requisite finance, low-income countries cannot meet the goals. It furthermore proposes specific aid and debt policy reforms.

IMF May Ease Its Stance on Argentine Debt (July 19, 2003)

Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner blames the IMF for its role in the Argentine financial disaster, urging the institution to grant the country a grace period to recover. (Los Angeles Times)

Drugs Should Be a Common Good (July 2003)

Members of the Inter-American Development Bank will not loan Haiti the money to supply clean water and improve health infrastructure until the world's poorest country pays back the outstanding loans made to military dictators. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Did the G8 Drop the Debt? (May 16, 2003)

Jubilee Research, Jubilee Debt Campaign and CAFOD call in a joint report for an end to the privatization and liberalization conditions linked to debt relief that harm the poor and the creation of a fair procedure for poor countries if they become insolvent in the future.

Writing Off Tyrants' Debt Is a Principle That Should Be Extended to Even Poorer Nations (April 21, 2003)

Charlotte Denny of the Guardian argues for an extension of the proposed debt relief deal for Iraq to poorer countries. Denny suggests creating an international tribunal to determine future loans to countries under the rule of a dictator.

Jousting With Debt (April 12, 2003)

This Washington Post editorial warns against politicizing international aid in the aftermath of the Iraqi war. This editorial satirizes the US double standard on urging debt forgiveness for Iraq while showing no enthusiasm for broadening debt relief for the world's poorest countries.

US Push to Forgive Iraq Debt Underway (April 12, 2003)

US Treasury Secretary John Snow is urging France, Germany and Russia to cancel at least part of Iraq's billions of dollars in debt, which experts say Iraq cannot possibly pay in full. Debt relief advocates support the move, but blast Washington for hypocritically opposing the forgiveness of other impoverished countries' debt burdens. (Washington Post)

The Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) Versus an International Fair and Transparent Arbitration Process (FTAP) (April 2003)

Caritas Internationalis and International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity examine the IMF proposals of a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism, which aims to protect nations in a financial crisis from their creditors. The NGOs criticize the deal for failing to include provisions on multilateral and bilateral debts.

Africa's Debt – Fueling the fire of AIDS (April 2003)

Africa Action argues that the World Bank, the IMF and the main creditors of Africa's debt can afford to write it off but refuse to do so because they want to retain control over Africa's economies.

Big Food Does Big U-turn (March 23, 2003)

In reference to Big Food Group's decision not to pursue compensation from Guyana, the manager of the World Bank's HIPC unit argues that debt relief in fact encourages capital inflows to poor countries. His statement disputes the neoliberal claim that debt forgiveness campaigns hurt poor countries by dissuading foreign investment. (Observer)

Commonwealth African Finance Ministers Deal With Debt (March 5, 2003)

Finance ministers from Commonwealth African countries suggested changes in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. These ministers call for increased efforts to broaden the participation of creditors and for increased aid to HIPC countries. (AllAfrica)

Indebted to Death (January 27, 2003)

The corporate world is proposing a new debt repayment initiative, which would imply the exchange of territory for debt repayment. Critics view this as another way of giving the IMF and multinational corporations more control over the debtor countries. (Rabble)

IMF Cuts Disputed Clause from Debt Plan (January 8, 2003)

Bowing to the US Treasury and Wall Street, the IMF will remove a clause from its proposed bankruptcy mechanism that would have protected highly indebted countries from creditor lawsuits. Even with the concession, the US banking community remains opposed to the "basic notion" of bankruptcy protection for countries with unsustainable debt. (Washington Post)

Hypocrisy That Underlies HIPC (January 6, 2003)

The Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) has delivered only half the debt relief it promised, forcing countries with huge humanitarian needs to shell out millions of dollars to international creditors. This Guardian comment argues that Western creditors should adjust debt payment demands according to efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.


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Wall Street Ups Opposition to IMF Bankruptcy Plan (December 17, 2002)

A group of Wall Street financial market associations released a statement calling the IMF's proposal to set up international bankruptcy courts to manage unsustainable debt in poor countries "fundamentally flawed." Wall Street and the US Treasury are pressing for a more market-based approach. (Reuters)

Privatization Will Be Over Zambians' Dead Bodies, Sata Warns IMF (December 9, 2002)

Zambian opposition leader Michael Sata declares that the people of Zambia will refuse to capitulate to IMF demands that the country privatize its national bank under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) scheme. Sata argues that the HIPC initiative has done nothing for Zambia, and the government should refuse further negotiations with the IMF. (The Post (Lusaka))

'Debt Cancellation Would Hinder Fight Against Poverty' Claims IMF (October 24, 2002)

The IMF claims that total debt cancellation for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) would exhaust the Fund's poverty reduction resources, disadvantaging the eighty percent of poor people who do not live in an HIPC. (Herald (Harare))

Call for Reparations to Indebted Countries (October 19, 2002)

Civil society activists at the ‘Bridging Global Gaps' conference in the Czech republic demand not only debt cancellation to developing countries, but also "reparations to those victimized by neo-liberal policies." (Inter Press Service)

Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Where Stands the Debate? (October 17, 2002)

Jeff Boorman, special advisor to the IMF, describes in technical detail the three main proposals for a bankruptcy mechanism for debtor countries. IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger, the US Treasury, and two J.P. Morgan representatives all propose different ways to manage bankruptcy on an international scale. (IMF)

Making the Poor Foot the Bill – IMF Policies and the Looting of Brazil (October 15, 2002)

Jubilee Research argues that a new IMF bailout to Brazil has been "strategically timed to influence the electoral process." If Louis Ignacio Lula da Silva wins the presidential election, he may replace the IMF's free-market policies with a focus on "growth of the domestic market, prioritizing local industry, employment and poverty alleviation."

The MDG Drumbeat Gets Louder – But Is the World Bank Listening? (October 7, 2002)

More money flows out of Africa each year in debt payments than flows in as aid, seriously undermining efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015. However, the World Bank and the IMF refuse to acknowledge the link between unsustainable debt and the MDG. (Jubilee Research)

Contradictions Within HIPC – Arbitration Sought Against Guyana (October 7, 2002)

A private sugar corporation is suing the country of Guyana for failing to make debt payments. According to Jubilee Research, the fact that the Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes will consider the case for arbitration at all demonstrates the failure of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative.

Turkey – Another Disaster in the Making? (October 3, 2002)

Jubilee Research warns that IMF programs in Turkey contain the same "fundamental flaws" that led countries like Argentina into financial crisis and extreme debt. However, Turkey's strategic significance to the United States' "war on terror" makes it unlikely that the IMF will take steps to diminish the "political leverage" of indebtedness.

IMF Meetings Give Go-Ahead for Bankruptcy Plan - But on Whose Terms? (October 1, 2002)

The IMF took steps in Washington toward developing a concrete bankruptcy plan proposal. Jubilee Research cautiously supports the move, but argues that the latest plan does not represent "an independent, fair and transparent process which would genuinely serve to bring justice and reason into international finance."

Paying the Bills in Brazil: Does the IMF's Math Add Up? (September 25, 2002)

An IMF loan intended to help Brazil pay back debts is unlikely to bring the country to a "sustainable level of debt service." (Center for Economic and Policy Research)

Argentina Says It Will Skip International Loan Payment (September 24, 2002)

The Argentine government announced it will not make next month's loan payment to the International Monetary Fund, pledging instead to "maintain social programs and ensure the financing of provincial economies." (New York Times)

New Debt Proposal Allows Overhaul for Poor Nations (September 17, 2002)

European countries support an International Monetary Fund proposal for a bankruptcy procedure which would provide protections and rights to highly indebted poor countries. However, the United States, the "most powerful voice on the IMF board," opposes the proposal. (Wall Street Journal)

Hitch in HIPC Derails Uganda's Debt Servicing (September 16, 2002)

Uganda's foreign creditors have refused to agree to the terms of the World Bank/IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Instead of channeling funds to Uganda's social service sector as promised, the HIPC program in Uganda has resulted in increased foreign debt. (East African)

IMF and World Bank Determined to Fail in Providing an "Exit" to the Debt Crisis (September 5, 2002)

The Jubilee USA Network comments on a leaked report from the International Monetary Fund. The report shows how the fund's programs for sustainable debt continue to fail and its reluctance to carry out further debt cancellation.

Jeffrey Sachs to Poor Nations: 'Forget Debt, Spend on AIDS' (August 2, 2002)

Jeffrey Sachs is urging poor nations to redirect their debt payments away from rich creditors and spend the money on health and education. (Inter Press Service)

A Joint Submission to the World Bank and IMF Review of HIPC and Debt Sustainability (August 2002)

This joint report by Cafod, Christian Aid, Oxfam UK, and Eurodad evaluates the HIPC initiative's role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The authors argue that debt relief can be one of the most efficient and effective forms of financing for development.

Relief Works (August 2002)

A new report from Jubilee Research at the New Economics Foundation shows that debt relief works and has a major impact on government spending on health and education. The report provides a preliminary estimate of the impacts of HIPC relief.

Protectionism: Africa's Perennial Headache (July 9, 2002)

Accra Mail argues, evidence has shown "that debt relief programs have not worked for poor countries," and it is now time "to find credible alternatives." The author believes the solution lies in instituting an equal trading system by "eliminating protectionist policies."

Putting Sustainable Development First (July 2002)

This Eurodad paper discusses the link between debt sustainability and sustainable development. It puts forward a 3-step methodology to assess sustainable debt based on poverty conditions and the needs in each country.

UK Leads Way in Winning G8 $1bn Debt Relief Promise (June 27, 2002)

Though the deal comes as progress, aid agencies "said more substantial sums of debt relief were needed." The pledge will not be enough to meet the 2015 millennium goal of halving poverty. (BBC)

Mauritania Granted Debt Relief (June 20, 2002)

"The West African country of Mauritania has had $1.1bn of debt wiped clean from its slate. The debt relief was granted after Mauritania satisfied the criteria of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank." (BBC)

To Help Africa Battle AIDS, Write Off Its Debt (May 20, 2002)

The author calls on US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to cancel Africa's debts so the countries can spend more money to fight AIDS and educate their citizens. O'Neill is exposed to the deepening poverty as he completes a tour of Africa with U2 rock star Bono. (Los Angeles Times)

New World Bank Reports Confirm that the HIPC Initiative is Failing (April 29, 2002)

Jubilee Research examines the failures of the World Bank's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Even countries who have completed the program remain at an unsustainable level of debt.

IMF Crisis Plan Torpedoed (April 3, 2002)

Interested in protecting private-sector interests, the US opposes the IMF's proposal for new international bankruptcy procedures for countries in debt. US administration officials maintain that governments should resolve debt problems directly with the relevant private creditors. (Washington Post)

Debt Bailouts or Workouts? (April 2002)

Africa Recovery United Nations outlines the current debates surrounding third world debt. Major issues include international bankruptcy procedures and how to deal with serious financial disasters in large economies such as Argentina. (Africa Recovery United Nations)

Don't Let America Bankrupt International Bankruptcy Reform (April 2002)

Joseph Stiglitz compliments the IMF for finally realizing its "conflict of interest" in resolving debt restructuring disputes. He also supports the IMF's plan to create an international arbiter to handle bankruptcy issues and discounts the US's alternative, market-oriented plan. (Project Syndicate)

The United States as a Highly Indebted Prosperous Country (April 2002)

The US deficit remains the "dominant driving force behind financial globalization". According to Jubilee Research, poor countries are financing this deficit and therefore enabling Americans to enjoy comparatively high standards of living.

Britain, Nigeria, Others Take Debt Relief Campaign to Mexico (March 6, 2002)

Politicians and NGO representatives from Africa, Asia and Europe urge delegates to the up-coming Financing for Development conference to place the issue of debt relief at the center of the Overseas Development Assistance discussions (Guardian, Nigeria)

Treasury Chief Accuses World Bank of Harming Poor Countries (February 21, 2002)

Some official say they fear that the Bush administration's proposal of converting "up to 50 percent" of the World Bank's $6 billion in annual loans to poor countries to grants could undermine the World Bank by forcing it to give away its capital. None of the other G7 countries have pledged to convert more than 16 percent, as compared with about 1 percent now, to grant aid. (New York Times)

Post-Soviet Poverty on Par with Africa (February 21, 2002)

Following UK Chancellor Gordon Brown's calls for overall increased aid and Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Africa, International Development Secretary Clare Short expresses readiness to consider debt relief for impoverished states of the former Soviet Union. (Reuters)

Aid: How Much Is Enough? (February 18, 2002)

NGOs criticize the meek official pledges to raise aid levels. EU governments want a reticent US on board first. Both also reject the Currency Transaction Tax so dear to NGOs. But unsubstantial commitments will make the Financing for Development Conference just a run of the mill. (OneWorld)

$80 Million US Aid to Pak[istan] for Supporting War on Terror (February 18, 2002)

The US government is quietly lashing out hundreds of millions of dollars in the war on terrorism – paying Pakistan for its military services while refusing to increase aid to Africa's poorest nations. The total of US assistance amounts to over 1 billion dollars. (Associated Press,)

"Healing Africa" Doomed Without Debt Cancellation (February 7, 2002)

A new study from Jubilee Research at the New Economics Foundation found that the 2015 Millenium Development Goal of halving the number of people suffering extreme poverty will not be met without total cancellation of the debt shouldered by the world's poorest and most indebted countries and an increase in aid.

The Rough Guide to Debt (February 2002)

Catholic Agency for Oversees Development (CAFOD) traces the origins of the debt crisis, scrutinizes the various initiatives to solve the problem and concludes by proposing alternative solutions that serve the needs of the debtor countries.

Jubilee Research Issues New Report (February 2002)

Jubilee Research issues new report 'The unbreakable link - debt relief and the millennium development goals,' that tracks the progress of poor countries toward debt sustainability under the HIPC initiative as well as likely progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. (Jubilee+)

IMF Weighs Up Bankruptcy System For Nations (January 23, 2002)

International Monetary Fund rushes ahead with the proposal to introduce an international bankruptcy procedure. According to the Fund's deputy managing director Ms Kreuger, the procedure "might be formally agreed by the fund as early as April." ( Australian Financial Review)

Prospective Aid and Indebtedness Relief (January 13, 2002)

This proposal outlines a 15-year plan for the elimination of the debt of 49 poor countries, through a combination of increasing aid and debt cancellation. It consists of a multilateral framework involving the UN, the HIPC initiative, and civil society.

The Global Financial System On the Brink, Again (January 9, 2002)

This article argues that an international bankruptcy procedure would face several big obstacles, such as the need for countries to agree on rules for the procedure. Furthermore, the procedure would not prevent future crises or discourage volatile and speculative capital flows. (North-South Institute)

Swedish Central Banker Supports IMF Bankruptcy Plan (January 3, 2002)

Deputy Governor of the Swedish Central Bank Lars Heikensten says that an international bankruptcy procedure should have been instituted long ago. The procedure could help nations renegotiate unsustainable debts and avoid chaos such as that in Argentina. (Reuters)

Governments Urged to Set Up Debt Management Offices (January 2, 2002)

UN agency for Trade and Development (UNTAD) urges developing countries to set up offices for handling debt crisis as well as decentralization of investment decisions. The directives come in times of increasing debts, despite debt relief programs. (TOMRIC News Agency)

Fair And Transparent Arbitration on Debt (January 2002)

This policy paper stresses the need for a fair and transparent International Arbitration Court on debt. The paper provides background information on debt and summarizes the findings of African Lawyers on the arbitration process. (African Forum and Network on Debt and Development)

Resolving the Debt of Low-Income Countries (2002)

Jeffrey Sachs argues that highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) fall into a "poverty trap" under the current international framework. He proposes recommendations for a bankruptcy law to give HIPCs a "fresh start." (Brookings Papers on Economic Activity)


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Debt Relief So Far: "A Cruel Joke:" One Year On From Jubilee 2000, Debt Promises Remain Unmet (December 19, 2001)

The year 2000 may be a distant memory, but the calls for debt relief from the Jubilee 2000 group are stronger than ever. A new campaign for 2002 highlights the fact that only 15% of the unpayable debt of the world's poor has been cancelled. (Jubilee Debt Campaign)  

Multilateral Debt: The Unbearable Burden (November 2001)

A key policy paper from Foreign Policy in Focus calls for 1) immediate and comprehensive debt cancellation for impoverished countries, 2) an international body, with strict requirements of fair representation, with authority to determine the legitimacy of debts and adjudicate their cancellation and reduction, and 3) annulment of debts incurred for failed economic programs and nonperforming infrastructure projects. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Multilateral Debt: The Unbearable Burden (October 31, 2001)

This article analyzes the concept of "Multilateral Debt." It provides background information, discusses problems with US domination within international financial institutions and gives key recommendations for the future of poverty reduction. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Aid: Using it Prudently (October 23, 2001)

Pakistan illustrates how aid distribution finances security instead of improving economic fundamentals. Rather than once again pump money into Pakistan, past debts could be converted into development assistance. (Dawn)

Group Calls for Debt Swaps to Ease Burden (October 19, 2001)

African groups on debt suggest a swap initiative to ease the negative impact on debt payments. According to the initiative, creditors should donate debts to NGOs that then would use the money to carry out projects in the debtor country. (Inter Press Service)

Swapping Debt for Nature (October 1, 2001)

Faced with mounting debts and dwindling resources, Indonesia is turning to an innovative solution put forth by environmental groups that would allow developing countries to trade some of their debt for a commitment to social development and natural conservation. (Jakarta Post)

Putting Poverty Reduction First (October 2001)

The European Network on Debt and Development creates a formula for servicing the Highly Indebted Poor Countries' (HIPC) debt with poverty-reduction as the top priority. The IMF/World Bank's HIPC Initiative does not account for resources countries need to reduce poverty by investing in human and social capital.

From Rhetoric to Reality of African Development (September 11, 2001)

Declining aid and rapid trade liberalization, have made sub-Saharan Africa poorer today than twenty years ago, UNCTAD reports. Greater external financing and a "bold approach to debt relief" are necessary for economic growth and poverty reduction. (UNCTAD Press Release

A New Approach to the Third World Debt Crisis (August 21, 2001)

As the debt crisis worsens, the World Bank and IMF have been forced to admit that debt relief is necessary. Kevin Danaherc argues that debt cancellation may not be the wisest option for HIPC countries, partly because "cancellation also let's off the hook the World Bank, IMF and commercial lenders who made such stupid loans in the first place."(Global Exchange)

Time To Reform The Reforms (July 25, 2001)

David Roodman, a Worldwatch Institute senior researcher, criticizes the current debt relief framework. A key assumption among rich lenders is that the poorest countries can actually repay most of their debts. Roodman concludes, "the HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) initiative is designed by and for creditors, and will do the debtors little good." (Debt Channel)

Genoa - Unlawful Debt or Financial Crime Against Human Development (July 11, 2001)

In anticipation of the upcoming G8 summit in Genoa, Attac examines the politico-financial history of the last thirty years, which reveals a disturbing correlation between financial crime, indebtedness and poverty. Attac states that the forced liberalization, corruption and money laundering circuits have caused the current debt crisis.

Africa's Debt – Africa Action Position Paper (July 2001)

Africa Action calls Africa's massive debt burden "a new form of slavery, as vicious as the slave trade." As long as rich foreign creditors dominate the existing debt relief framework, an "economic system where Africa remains economically controlled by the developed world" will continue.

Dollars, Debt and Drugs – Responding to the AIDS Crisis (June 25, 2001)

Activists from various advocacy groups stressed that if wealthier nations would forgive the loans, Sub-Saharan Africa could use the $13 billion it spends annually to service its debts to instead build up health and education infrastructure and buy medicines. (Drop the Debt)

To Start a Corner Shop You Need Two Roads (June 15, 2001)

Although the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative has reduced the debt of some poor countires, its benefits may prove to be unsustainable. If those countries are to break out of poverty for good, they must be integrated into the global economy and be allowed to set their own development priorities. (Financial Mail, South Africa)

Tear Up the Envelope! (June 5, 2001)

Adrian Lovett from Drop the Debt and Jubilee 2000 argues against the IMF and World Bank's decision to slow down the debt cancellation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. (

EU Cancels Debt of Ex-Colonies from Trade Pacts (May 15, 2001)

At the Third UN Conference on the LDCs, the EU has announced that it will cancel all outstanding debts arising from its trade accords with former colonies of member states. (The Guardian)

To Drop or Not to Drop? (May 2001)

Tim Allen and Diana Weinhold, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, question whether debt cancellation is the most effective way of alleviating poverty.

Poor Countries Need Good Governance to Get Out of Debt Trap (April 28, 2001)

Responding to criticisms that the HIPC debt reduction program won't get recipient countries out of the debt trap, James Wolfensohn said that the key factor is how the country governs itself. (Panafrican News Agency)

Still Waiting for the Jubilee: Pragmatic Solutions for the Third World Debt Crisis (April 26, 2001)

Governments have recently offered to cancel up to 55 percent of the debt they are owed by 41 poor countries. But these offers do not change the systems that created the crisis in the first place. (Worldwatch)

"Forgive and Forget" Won't Fix Third World Debt (April 26, 2001)

In this Worldwatch news release, David Roodman argues that the debt relief under HIPC is too small and that major reforms is needed to prevent poorer countries from sinking back into debt.

Reality Check: The Need for Deeper Debt Cancellation and the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (April 10, 2001)

The IMF and World Bank could afford to cancel the entire $50.8 billion owed them by the world's poorest countries, according to this report by Drop the Debt.

Resistance has no Alternative (February 9, 2001)

What the South owes is what the North stole from it. Debt, argues Alejandro Bendaña, is no more than a 'modern' form of continuing a history of exploitation, oppression, poverty ... colonialism. (OneWorld)


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Secretary General's Report to the General Assembly on Debt Situation of Developing Countries (September 2000)

This report also includes the analysis of the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries. (NOTE: pdf file - Adobe Acrobat reader required)

National Mobilization for Debt Cancellation (April 6, 2000)

Jubilee 2000 is spearheading a protest calling for debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries. The protest will be held in Washington, DC April 9-10, 2000. Join up!

Canada Announces Debt Moratorium (December 19, 2000)

Canada will apply a moratorium on debt repayments from eleven of the poorest countries in Africa and Latin America starting January 1, 2001. This moratorium however excludes Rwanda and Liberia, because of their poor human rights records. (Jubilee 2000 Press Release)

IMF Attributes Africa's Debt Burden To Poor Management (December 12, 2000)

The IMF says that corruption, irresponsible political conduct and poor management of projects by African Leaders has exacerbated Africa's debt problems.(African Eye News (South Africa) )

Britain to Drop Debt Payments (December 2, 2000)

Britain will suspend payments from heavily indebted poor countries, with the condition that the money is used to tackle poverty and promote development. (UK Guardian)

IMF to Give Zambia Faster Debt Relief (December 1, 2000)

With the IMF Executive Board agreeing to change the rules governing the delivery of the HIPC initiative, Zambia's debt relief under the HIPC would be accelerated. (IMF News)

A New Debt Deal? (November 22, 2000)

Pointing out some of the major flaws of the HIPC initiative, EURODAD is calling for an initiative with the possibility to "really reduce poverty and meet the interests of justice". (Inter Press)

IMF and World Bank Cut $ 590 Million in Debt Service for Guyana (November 17, 2000)

Guyana is set to receive about US$ 590 million in debt service under the HIPC initiative. But how beneficial is this package going to be in the long run? (IMF Press Release)

Debt Relief Approved Under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative as of November 15, 2000

This table lists the number of countries whose debt relief has been approved under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative.

World Bank to Ease Malawi of 43 percent of its Debt Burden (November 14, 2000)

Malawi will soon benefit from the HIPC scheme with the Bank and the IMF requiring that savings derived from the scheme are re-invested in social services and poverty reduction programs that would benefit the poor. (Agence France Presse)

Zambia Desperate for Preferential Treatment in the HIPC Program (November 13, 2000)

Zambia could face dire consequences if it does not qualify for debt relief under the HIPC program after meeting all the criteria laid down by the IMF. It is also demanding better terms for the debt relief scheme than what the current formula offers. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

Cameroon Offers Another Example of Inadequate Debt Relief (November 4, 2000)

With its inclusion in the HIPC program, it is projected that Cameroon's average debt service payments would exceed the amount it currently pays on education and health - a severe drain on scarce government resources!" (Jubilee 2000)

Zambia's Debt Situation Worsen's Under IMF's HIPC Program (November 3, 2000)

Zambia's rejection of the HIPC initiative exposes its flaws which critics argue may only help "soften" some of the beneficiaries' debt service obligations rather than reduce them. (Jubilee 2000)

Eye of the Needle (November 2000)

Jubilee 2000's country by county analysis of Africa's debt.

IMF To Provide 20 With Debt Relief (October 31, 2000)

Would the IMF have spared the debt of some of the world's poor countries if the US Congress had not agreed to fund it? (Associated Press)

Debt Relief Alone Not Enough For LDCs (October 27, 2000)

With the current world trade system and the IMF and World Bank Structural Adjustment Programmes, can forgiving debts under the HIPC be effective? (Dawn)

Hill Leaders Agree on Third World Debt Relief (October 25, 2000)

At long last ! Congress has agreed to write off loans to 30 of the world's poorest countries. Will the debt-relief provisions adequately help relieve these countries of interest payments that could otherwise go to education and other initiatives to help their economies? (Washington Post)

Ex-Premier of Singapore Sees Pitfalls in Debt Relief (October 18, 2000)

Most development theories have proved to be more ideological than practical. Is it not time that developing nations assessed the debt relief being offered as not just being panacea for faltering economies?(World Bank News)

Cameroon to Receive Around US$2 Billion in Debt Service Relief (October 16, 2000)

Cameroon now joins Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda in the latest IMF "enhanced" HIPC initiative. The outcome and benefits of the program however are still questionable. (IMF Press Release)

Pie-in-the-Sky Debt Relief (October 11, 2000)

Allan Meltzer (head of the famous Meltzer Commission) and Adam Lerrick say that the IMF and World Bank are unloading the financial responsibility for the HIPC initiative onto taxpayers. (Washington Times)

Government, IUCN, UNDP to Launch 'Debt for Nature Swap' (October 10, 2000)

Jordan is taking part in a unique initiative whereby sound environmental policies are counted as repayment of external debt, sponsored by a UN agency. But success depends on the willingness of creditor countries to sponsor the program. (Jordan Times)

Extravagant Evil and the IMF (October 8, 2000)

Michela Wrong's "In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz" incriminates the ‘readiness' of the IMF – under pressure from its Western shareholders – to lend money to corrupt governments, ultimately creating today's terrible debt situation, says this book review from the New York Times.

IMF, World Bank and Debt (October 6, 2000)

In this letter to the Irish Times, Maire Kelly rightly points out that while the IMF and the World Bank behave like private-sector banks, they have significant advantages – for example, their debtors cannot go broke and can thus be held in debt penury for decades.

HIPC Initiative Leaves Poor Countries Heavily in Debt (September, 2000)

This analysis by Oxfam examines the HIPC program and concludes that beneficiaries would still spend far more on debt than they are able to invest in priority social investments like health and education.

Much Talk, Little Action on Poor Countries' Debts (September 28, 2000)

The developed nations (and their mouthpieces in the World Bank and the IMF) often tout the HIPC initiative as an example of a compassionate, constructive development policy. But not only is it too slow, reports the Nigeria Guardian, there are growing concerns that it might be just hot air.

Debt Relief Only Part of the Answer (September 26, 2000)

Debt relief might be a welcome gesture, but not much more, argues Richard Segal, as it concerns dues with no hope of ever being repaid. There are other, more important problems that keep the Third World down, such as low commodity prices or uneven trade liberalization. (

Private Sector Slams IMF, Paris Club Bail-Ins (September 25, 2000)

Private investors are unhappy that they should be included in the debt relief initiative. They cannot see why, for once, the public is not likely to pick up the bill for private speculators. (Business Recorder)

Debt Relief Takes a Back Seat (September 24, 2000)

Everybody's talking about debt relief and the HIPC initiative – but what does all the rhetoric actually mean? Caroline Lambert from gives you the lowdown and shows the larger context of debt forgiveness.

Debt Relief is Nice, but Not Enough (September 21, 2000)

Forgiving debts that can never be repaid is nothing short of a publicity stunt without any benefit on the part of the debtor, argues Roy Culpeper. In other words, debt relief can only play a small part in eradicating poverty. (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Forgiving Debts of the Poor (September 20, 2000)

In this editorial from the Washington Post the Archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law, calls on the US Congress to provide the necessay funding for debt relief in the spirit of the Catholic Jubilee year.

A New Approach to Debt Relief (September 20, 2000)

Rumman Faruqi, an official from the Commonwealth Secretariat, outlines his organization's priorities and opinions on the matter of debt relief. (International Herald Tribune)

IMF Debt Relief Conditions "Irrelevant to Povery Reduction" (September 19, 2000)

A report by the World Development Movement charges that the IMF delays the HIPC initiative with irrelevant caveats. It uses the program as a lever to promote its own neo-liberal agenda in areas unconnected to the debt problem, the report asserts.

IMF & World Bank Could Cancel 100% of Third World Debt (September 18, 2000)

Contrary to James Wolfensohn's statements, the IMF and the World Bank could cancel all Third World debt without jeopardizing its Triple A status in the financial markets, a Jubilee 2000 report asserts. (Jubilee 2000 Press Release)

Rich Nations Pledge to Double Countries Getting Debt Relief (September 17, 2000)

Stung by incessant protests, finance ministers agreed to speed up the faltering HIPC process. This way they hope to reach their goal of granting debt relief to 20 highly indebted countries before the end of the year. (New York Times)

Plea to Allow Debt Repayments through Government Expenditures (September 15, 2000)

Evaluating the World Bank's new World Development Report 2000/01, Pakistan's Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz proposed that domestic anti-poverty measures should be counted as repayment of debt. (Business Recorder)

International Debt Relief a Moral Responsibility (September 14, 2000)

Shortly before leaving office, Bill Clinton is busy working on his post-presidential legacy. In a speech before a gathering of religious leaders he asked for help to get more money through Congress for debt relief. (Nando Times)

Debt Relief: IMF is on the Right Track (September 13, 2000)

This editorial from the Kenyan Nation cautiously welcomes the IMF's intention to speed up the HIPC process, but comments acidly on the rich nations' unwillingness to match this apparent change in attitude.

Life Above Debt! (September 2000)

As part of the Jubilee South Campaign, the Brazilian NGO PACS organized a national plebiscite where more than 5 million people voted overwhelmingly that Brazil should stop servicing its external debt, because it is "in large measure illegal, immoral and has already been paid several times over".

Status of Bilateral Donor Pledges to the HIPC Trust Fund (as of August 31, 2000)

This table from eCountries shows how little the G7 rhetoric of debt relief is matched with action – of the US$2.5 bn pledged to support the World Bank's HIPC program, little more than one fifth had come through.

Brown and Short Move to Revive Debt Relief Initiative (August 29, 2000)

The HIPC initiative shows few signs of taking off. High British government officials are pushing to speed up the process. (Guardian)

Nigeria Asks Clinton for Help with Its Crippling Debt (August 28, 2000)

Clinton comes to Nigeria – not with promises of debt relief, as many Africans and especially Nigerian President Obasanjo had hoped – but with a deal: lobby the OPEC to increase oil production and we will reduce your debt. (World Bank Development Report)

Obasanjo Commends Transparency to Nations Seeking Debt Relief (August 24, 2000)

Nigerian President Obasanjo urged for greater cooperation among Southern states in a press conference with other leaders of developing countries. He further said that nations asking for debt relief should also increase transparency and accountability in their own administrations. (Nigeria Guardian)

Clinton To Face Pressure on Debt During Nigeria Trip (August 18, 2000)

Nigerian President Obasanjo wonders why his country should pay back debts that were incurred during the military rule that ended in 1999. Most of that money was lent frivolously and disappeared in the pockets of the junta. (Agence France Press)

Russia Repays IMF Debts (August 17, 2000)

New figures released by the IMF show that repayment of the debts incurred by many countries during the financial crisis is well under way. Only the Asian nations are lagging behind. The HIPC debt relief programme, however, continues only at a snail's pace. (BBC)

South African Bishop Tells Africans to Reject Payment of Debts (August 15, 2000)

Archbishop Ndungane said that debt repayment amounted to a new form of slavery. The money should be spent on health care and education instead. He further called for African leaders to step down ‘when their time was up.' (East African Standard)

Landmark Court Ruling Condemns Argentina's Illegitimate Debt (August 10, 2000)

During the Argentinian military rule of 1976-83, billions of dollars accumulated as foreign debt, but little of this money benefitted the Argentinian people. A judge has condemned the behaviour of international banks and institutions, among them the IMF, as irresponsible and careless. (Jubilee 2000)

Trading Out of Poverty (August 10, 2000)

This editorial from the Far Eastern Economic Review contends that debt relief in itself would not help HIPC escape the poverty trap. It would be far more helpful if developed countries dropped their import restrictions on products from developing countries, thus giving these countries a chance to work their way up.

Women Demand Share of Debt Cancellation Benefits (August 9, 2000)

Now that Burkina Faso has been granted $700 million under the HIPC initiative, what to do with the money? Local NGOs demand that it be spent on women's education. (Inter Press Service)

Nigerian President Urges Rich-Poor Partnership (July 20, 2000)

President Obasanjo urged a closer "North-South" cooperation to tackle debt and development problems. He believes the partnership between the "same global family" is essential. (Agence France Presse)

Italy Forgives $6 Billion, Will Press Rich Nations To Follow (July 17, 2000)

Italy cancelled its foreign debt and hopes that other nations will follow suit. Last week, the US House of Representatives did approve $238 million in debt relief and hopes to push for more. (UN Wire)

Debt Relief Moves at a Snail's Pace (July, 2000)

The HIPC debt relief initiative – already considered to be slow-moving – hits new snags as donor countries express concerns about supporting armed conflict. (Africa Recovery)

Bid to Cut Strings Attached to Aid Fails (June 26, 2000)

Japan, France and Denmark are accused of putting commercial advantages above effective global development policies. The OECD Development Assistance Committee failed to reach any agreement on untying aid, despite support of 18 of the 21 member countries. (Dawn / Guardian News Service)

Jubilee 2000 Campaigns Protest Trial of Kenyan Debt Campaigners (May 30, 2000)

The Kenya Debt Relief Network Jubilee 2000 (KENDREN) is an active and peaceful social movement to call for debt relief of Kenya, but it was in Kenya that campaigners were treated with clubs and tear gas. (Jubilee 2000 Coalition)

President Mogae of Botswana, Academics and Campaigners Condemn Slow Pace of Cologne Debt Initiative (May 26, 2000)

The ineffectiveness of the Cologne Debt Initiative by the G8 raises concerns about creditors' control over money-lending conditionality. The Jubilee 2000 Coalition calls for independent arbitrations, which should incorporate government opposition parties, the media and the churches.

For the Cancellation of African Debt, Africa: From Resistance to Alternatives (May 3, 2000)

Little progress has been made to alleviate the persistent poverty among African nations. ATTAC identifies the main concern as the huge amount of external debts. (ATTAC Weekly)

Debt and Adjustment Under the New Globalization Consensus (April 24, 2000)

Article from Perspective examines the impact of the IMF and World Bank demands on Africa and argues that Africa's resistance to IMF/World Bank adjustment policies has abated while such policies have not fundamentally improved over the years.

Debt Rescheduling: G-77 Backs Pakistan Proposals (April 19, 2000)

"UN Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday called on the Bretton Woods institutions to evolve an enduring and permanent solution of the overwhelming levels of external debt burden of middle income developing countries."(Dawn)

Debt Relief Plan Failing (April 17, 2000)

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel tells IMF/World Bank meeting that plans to speed up debt relief are not working. (Business Day Johannesburg)

Third World Debt Relief Is the Right Thing to Do (April 14, 2000)

Jubilee 2000, a movement supporting debt relief for the world's poorest countries, includes a diverse group of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish religious groups, development specialists, labor unions and environmental groups.

G77 Urge UN to Play Greater Role in Overseeing Development Institutions (April 11, 2000)

At the first summit of the G 77, leaders of developing countries worked on a plan to urge rich countries to forgive debts, increase aid and trade, share new technologies and shift more decision-making to the United Nations away from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. (Associated Press)

Rally Urges World Bank, IMF to Lift Countries' Debt (April 11, 2000)

Thousands peacefully gathered in Washington to draw attention to the importance of HIPC debt relief, to aiding countries to achieve sustainable development. ''The countries, they can't spend any money on education and health care because they can't pay off the debt.'' (Boston Globe)

Japan Announces Total Debt Relief for 40 Poorest Countries (April 11, 2000)

Japan's government announced that it would cancel all $ 1.3 billion in outstanding debts owed to it by the world's 40 poorest countries. (Associated Press)

Thousands Rally To Urge Erasing Third World Debt (April 10, 2000)

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney declared that corporate-driven globalization of the economy was "killing the hopes and dreams of working families from Managua to Milwaukee as divergent groups gather in Washington to rally for HIPC debt relief. (Associated Press)

Cancel The Crushing Debt Of Third World Countries (April 10, 2000)

One protestor in Washington, explains why debt relief is in the interest of not only the developing countries, but also ordinary citizens in rich countries. (Seattle Times)

Joining Hands for Debt Relief (April 10, 2000)

An article from the Washington Post reporting from Washington DC, the activities of the protestors advocating poorest country debt cancellation.

UK Proposes New Poor Country Debt Relief Body (April 4, 2000)

Amid criticism that the HIPC debt relief intiative of last year is stalling, the UK proposed to oversee a new International drive to write off the debts of the world's poorest countries. (Reuters)

International Debt Campaigners Vow "No Seattle" at G8 Summit (March 29, 2000)

Campaigners for poorest nation debt relief, are planning loud but peaceful protest at the G8 summit to be held in Japan this July. (Agence France Presse)

US Body Advises Rich Countries to Forgive Debts of Poor Ones (March 29, 2000)

US will use G7 summit to push other countries in supporting the HIPC debt relief effort, as part of a general platform to reform lending policy at the World Bank and IMF. (Dawn (Pakistan)

IMF Disqualifies Tanzania To Join HIPC (March 22, 2000)

An article from the TOMRIC Agency regarding Tanzania's plea for HIPC status.

To Assist Mozambique, Send Aid And Cancel Debt (March 14, 2000)

Africa region director of the American Friends Service Committee argues persuasively, that the only way Mozambique can continue on the path to sustained economic growth is if industrialized nations send aid AND cancel its debt.(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Debt Relief For Mozambique (March 10, 2000)

Mozambique presents an opportunity for international debt forgiveness policy to really make a difference in providing a country with a chance for sustainable development sooner rather than later. (Boston Globe)

Mozambique Floods: Aid Agencies Appalled At Lack Of International Help (March 1, 2000)

Despite the fact that more than 1.9 million people have been displaced over the past month by floods, International purse strings remain tied shut. (IndependentUK)

An Interview with Mark Malloch-Brown, Head of UNDP, over the Future of Development Assistance (February 27, 2000)

Despite an increase in Foreign Direct Investment, Malloch Brown argues that Aid and Investment are both necessary if both developing and developed countries are to benefit from the global economy. (Guardian)

Japan's Basic Position on the Debt Problem Faced by the HIPCs (February 2000)

Japan will be chairing the G7 2000 summit, here is the official platform for the summit regarding the HIPC debt relief initiative (Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Back to Current Articles | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

Reducing the Debt of the Poorest: Challenges and Opportunities (November 1999)

An in depth article from the North-South Institute evaluating the HIPC debt relief initiative in the context of wider global efforts at poverty reduction and continued human development.

Debt Relief: Special Report Jubilee 2000 (December 31, 1999)

An update from the Guardian Unlimited on the campaign to have $100 billion owed by the poorest countries written off.

No Debt, No Poverty (December 30, 1999)

An op-ed piece from the East African (Nairobi) applauding the UK's decision to write off the debt owed to it by a number of poor countries.

Africa "Weighed Down by Debt" (December 13, 1999)

Democratic Party leader, Richard Gephardt, underlines that large debts are hindering Africa's attempts at economic development. (Business Day, Johannesburg)

Clinton Forgives Poor Countries' Debt (September 29, 1999)

At a speech at the Bretton Woods institutions' annual meeting Clinton pledges that the US will forgive poor countries' debts to the US. Clinton calls on other countries to also forgive foreign debts. (Reuters)

Debt Relief and Poverty Reduction: Meeting the Challenge (August 1999)

A position paper from Oxfam International on the unsustainable debt that has undermined human development in many of the world's poorest countries.

Debt 'Killing Children' (July 22, 1999)

BBC article about UNICEF's annual Progress of Nations report and its finding that "[c]hildren's health is suffering as governments struggle to pay debts."

Unburdening the Third World (October 4, 1999)

A New York Times editorial about President Clinton's pledging to cancel the debt owed to Washington by the world's poorest nations, as long as they used the savings for health, education and other antipoverty programs.

Rich Man's Plan Seen as Stingy (June 24, 1999)

Christian Science Monitor article about reactions to the G-7 debt proposal.

IMF 'Scheme' for Debt Relief (June 17, 1999)

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth, question the proposal to sell IMF gold reserves for debt relief and point out that "[t]he bulk of the money would go to expand the IMF's Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF)."

The Cologne G8 Summit and the Chains of Debt (June 1999)

Press release and executive summary of a report on debt by the Jubilee 2000 Coalition: "G8 leaders are offering only crumbs of comfort to the world's most indebted nations."

G-7 Drafts Gold-Sale Plan To Cut Poor Nations' Debt (June 14, 1999)

Sale of some of the IMF gold reserves will go further than HIPC initiative, but still leaves indebted countries with heavy burden.

West Attacked Over Debt Conditions (June 14, 1999)

Article looking at the debt of the developing world and the conditions imposed by the lenders of the industrialized nations. Refers to a report recency published by Christian Aid that calls for debt relief.

Half-Measures for Poor Nations (June 9, 1999)

An article which argues that debt relief for developing countries is a necessary step towards the establishment of sustainable health and education programs.

Joint BIS-IMF-OECD-World Bank Statistics on External Debt (March 1999)

Extensive data on countries' external debt and international reserve assets.

G7 Set to Act on Debt Relief (April 27, 1999)

Article from London's Guardian about G7 meeting in Washington DC.


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