Debt relief for poor countries

    I found this link while looking for other info and couldn't stop reading. Any thoughts on this?

    Each year developing countries pay the West nine times more in debt repayments than they receive in grants.

    The UK Charity Comic Relief raised 26 million in 1997. Africa paid this back in debt service in just over a day.
    Each person in the Third World owes about 250 to the West - much more than a year's wage for many.
    Of the 32 countries classified as severely indebted low-income countries, 25 are in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Africa spends four times as much on debt repayment as she does on healthcare.
    In 1960, the income of the wealthiest 20 per cent of the world's population was 30 times greater than that of the poorest 20 per cent. Today it is over 60 times greater.
    For a billion people, development is being thrown into reverse. After decades of steady economic advance, large areas of the world are sliding back into poverty.
    Millions of people around the world are living in poverty because of Third World debt and its consequences.

    Latin America owes 365 billion in debts to other countries and banks (36 per cent of what it produces - its Gross National Product), while sub-Saharan Africa owes 140 billion (83 per cent of its total GNP). These enormous debts mean that repayments to Western Creditors take priority and ordinary people suffer: in poor health, in restricted access to education, in lack of employment and in limited ability to trade and provide for themselves.

    Spending on healthcare has fallen in many of the world's poorest countries since the 1980s. This often means that people have to pay for healthcare, so the poorest cannot afford it and simply go without. In Zimbabwe spending per head on healthcare has fallen by a third since 1990 when a Structural Adjustment Programme was introduced. In Uganda, 2 per person is spent on healthcare, compared with 11.50 per person on debt repayments.

    Some improvements in health gained over the 1960s and 70s have been turned back or stopped in many countries since the 1980s when the debt crisis broke. The number of children who die before the age of five, or before the age of one, has risen in many deeply indebted countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nicaragua, Chile and Jamaica, after decades of falling numbers. Diseases thought to be eradicated - tuberculosis, yaws, yellow fever - are making a comeback in some countries as treatment and vaccination coverage declines.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Jun 21, '02
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  3. by   fergus51

    This link is about a book talking about how heavily indebted poor countries have a negative impact on all of us.