AJWS Cheers Cancellation of Haiti’s Debt

New York, NY; July 14, 2009— AJWS has applauded the recent decision by the United States, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to cancel the $1.2 billion in debt owed to these institutions by the Government of Haiti. 

Part of a broad-based coalition of international development, human rights and faith-based organizations, AJWS has for several years been calling for multi-lateral financial institutions and governments of wealthy nations to forgive debt owed by developing nations without imposing economic consequences that would debilitate sustainable economic and human development.  Conditions impoverished nations have often faced in return for debt cancellation have included privatizing water and electricity services, instituting hiring and salary freezes for healthcare workers and establishing fees for health services.

“American Jewish World Service is extremely pleased that the debt owed by Haiti to various institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United States has been cancelled under the HIP and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative,” said AJWS president Ruth W. Messinger.

“This debt was unjust and unpayable given the many serious challenges facing this nation, including rebuilding from four devastating hurricanes, severe hunger caused by sharp increases in food and energy prices, and the negative effects of the global recession. The lifting of this burden will provide more flexibility for government and local leaders to work together in addressing issues like AIDS, hunger and lack of educational opportunity, all of which destabilize communities throughout the country.

“It is important that governments of industrialized nations as well as multilateral institutions take steps such as this to ensure that privileged nations are not generating wealth on the backs of the world’s poor.”

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.