[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

6661: President of Haiti calls for total debt cancellation (Jubilee 2000) (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

President of Haiti calls for total debt cancellation   

President Rene Preval called for total and immediate debt cancellation for 
Haiti, during a meeting with Jubilee 2000 campaigners on Thursday 8th June. 
Mr Preval also welcomed the work of the Jubilee 2000 global movement and said 
there should be closer collaboration between government and civil society in 
the important battle for debt cancellation. He emphasised that progress would 
depend on a more united and forceful alliance in the South. 

The meeting with the Jubilee 2000 campaign took place in the government 
palace in Port au Prince as part of a week of activities, organised by the 
Haitian campaign during a Week on Debt (5-11 of June). The Jubilee 2000 
delegation was comprised of Camille Chalmers (PAPDA), Liana Cisneros (Jubilee 
2000 UK), Kathy Luzencourt (World Federation Lutheran), Yolette Etienne 
(Oxfam UK), Sister Marie Camille Francois (Haitian Religious Confederation), 
Harry Clervean (Trade Unions) and Emmanuel St Hilaire (Federation of 
Neighborhood Organisations) 

Camille Chalmers said that the meeting was a very important step for the 
Jubilee 2000 campaign: "It showed the willingness of the government to take a 
protagonistic role on debt cancellation. President Preval also expressed his 
interest in working with civil society on the elaboration of a strategy to 
allocate released funds for poverty reduction." 

Representatives of organisations from the North East, Central and South East 
of the country participated in conferences and workshops during the Week on 
Debt. The issue of Debt was linked to a variety of issues, such as debt tied 
to health and food 

security, debt and education, debt and agriculture production, debt, human 
rights and popular participation, debt and macroeconomics. 

The Week on Debt finished on Sunday with a concert in the central square of 
the capital, Port au Prince. Renowned musician and bands from Haiti and 
abroad performed, including Boukman Eksperyans, Chandel, Bob Bovano and 
Eritaj. The concert brought together around 3,000 people wearing headscarves 
in red and blue (the colours of the Haitian flag) with the slogan "No to 
debt, Yes to life." A large screen next to the stage showed key moments of 
the international Jubilee 2000 campaign. 

The total debt of Haiti is $1.1 billion and the country is still paying debt 
built up by the notorious dictator, Papa Doc. An estimated 45% of Haiti's 
debt was contracted under Papa Doc and the fortune of his family is 
calculated at $900 million. Of the total debt, 85 % is multilateral owed to 
the World Bank, IMF and the IADB. The bilateral debt at 15 % is owed mainly 
to Italy, Spain, France and the USA. Despite extremely high levels of 
poverty, Haiti is not considered eligible for debt cancellation under the 
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. 

Home | Who we are | News | What you can do | Features | Policy | Resources | 
Links | Petition | Questions