Saturday, June 11, 2005

g-8 cancels lots of debt

This is something for which John Paul (RIP) agitated for years. I reckon its a good thing, though I have a lot of questions, mainly about accountability in these nations. The article says they have to implement anti-corruptions stuff. I wonder... Hopefully it will all translate to more bread on the table for the poor. We'll see. Though maybe we won't see. Read the whole thing at the NY Times.

LONDON, June 11 - The world's wealthiest nations formally agreed Saturday to cancel at least $40 billion of debt owed to international agencies by the world's poorest lands, most of them in Africa.

After late-night talks in London, the finance ministers of the Group of 8 industrialized nations announced that the deal, long in negotiation, had been intended to avoid damaging the ability of international lenders like the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund to continue helping other poor countries.

"This is a historic moment," said John W. Snow, the United States Treasury secretary, one of the participants. "A real milestone has been reached."

The deal on Saturday was expected to ease the 18 poorest countries' annual debt burden by $1.5 billion. They are Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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