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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Jubilee campaign: 'the G8 has not made the giant leap needed'
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¬†The outcome of the G8 summit has been seen as a disappointment by the Jubilee Campaign. In a statement they explain: The leaders of the world's richest nations have agreed to what their finance ministers agreed a month ago. So a small step forward has been followed by standing still - when what was needed was a giant leap to end the debt crisis that shackles so many poor countries and deepens poverty. We have already welcomed the establishment of the principle of cancelling 100 per cent of the debt owed to multilateral institutions. But we must reiterate that this deal is an inadequate response to the global debt crisis, particularly in its failure to challenge the damaging and undemocratic conditions that are consistently attached to debt relief. This will provide less than $1 billion per year - the equivalent of less than one dollar per head per year for the people who will benefit - when more than $10 billion a year of debt cancellation is needed to contribute to the ending of extreme poverty. Moreover, major issues on debt remain unresolved - the damaging economic policy conditions attached to debt relief, the many indebted countries not on the list, debts not covered by the deal. There is more work to be done - not least to ensure that the deal is ratified and then that it is delivered. And that is only the barest minimum - even this small step is a tribute to the unceasing efforts of campaigners worldwide, and we know they will be continuing to seek significant improvements and advances during the rest of the year. We welcome the positive language on measures to get money stolen from previous loans through corruption out of western banks and returned to countries for the benefit of their people The G8 debt deal is not 100 per cent debt cancellation ∑ It only applies to some multilateral debt, not all; immediately benefits only 18 countries, may benefit up to 38; at least 60 countries need an immediate 100 per cent debt cancellation if they are to meet the Millennium Development Goals ∑ It reinforces the economic policy conditions enforced through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative ∑ It does not provide a new fair and transparent process, or anything approaching the new debt compact recommended by the Commission for Africa What we said the G8 should do: ∑ Affirm in full the G8 finance ministers debt deal agreed last month ∑ Indicate that it does not go far enough; it needs more countries to be included, more debt to be cancelled, a new transparent process which includes indebted countries fully in decision-making ∑ Announce that debt relief will no longer depend on poor countries accepting enforced economic policy conditions, such as trade liberalisation (as distinct from requirements for accountability for the use of debt relief for poverty reduction) ∑ Agree measures to get money stolen from previous loans through corruption out of western banks and returned to countries for the benefit of their people
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