Today, for every $1 the most impoverished countries receive in aid, they pay almost $13 dollars in debt payments to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. This crushing financial burden prevents the most impoverished countries of the world from funding health care, education, and other vital human services that their citizens need to break the cycle of poverty. Also, many of the debts of these countries were racked up by dictators which oppressed the people, leaving contemporary citizens to suffer for the past crimes of long-deposed rulers.
Representatives Waters (D-CA), Leach (R-IA), Frank (D-MA), Bachus (R-AL), Lee (D-CA), and Maloney (D-NY) have re-introduced the JUBILEE Act (H.R. 1130). The Act calls for debt cancellation for 50 impoverished nations and it insists that such cancellation is not financed by diverting funds from other human services such health care and education. This bill represents a more just vision of debt cancellation than has previously been proposed by international financial institutions. Rather than limiting itself to the official heavily-indebted countries (HIPC) identified by the World Bank, it encompasses 50 nations and stipulates that the U.S. Treasury work with the World Bank and the IMF to ensure that debt cancellation occurs without bankrupting these countries.
This debt relief will also be financed from World Bank and IMF reserves, not on the backs of U.S. or any other taxpayers. The U.S. will also be safer overall when people around the world are lifted out of desperate poverty - as these people will be less vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, and our image abroad will improve.
Please use the web form to contact your representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor the Act. Better yet, you may reach your Representative using the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Read an impartial summary, and more info about the bill here: