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Author Topic: Now, why don't they see that both parents are financially responsible?  (Read 1330 times)

MYSONSDAD

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These countries do not vote here. But lets keep the CS coming and coming. Send us to prison if we don't pay...

June 12, 2005
Finance Chiefs Cancel Debt of 18 Nations
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON, June 11 (AP) - Finance ministers from the Group of 8 industrialized nations agreed Saturday to cancel at least $40 billion worth of debt owed by the world's poorest nations.

The British chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown, said that 18 countries, many in sub-Saharan Africa, would benefit immediately from the deal to scrap 100 percent of the debt they owe to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank.

As many as 20 other countries could be eligible if they meet strict targets for good governance and tackling corruption, leading to a total debt relief package of more than $55 billion.

"The G-8 finance ministers have agreed to 100 percent debt cancellation for heavily indebted poor countries," Mr. Brown told a news conference in London.

Aid agencies welcomed the deal, saying it would save the 18 countries a total of $1.5 billion a year in debt repayments that could now be used for health care, education and infrastructure development.

Finance ministers from the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada, Russia, Germany, Italy and France agreed to the package during a two-day meeting in London. The initiative was begun by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 1996.

"A real milestone has been reached," said Treasury Secretary John Snow. "President Bush's commitment to lift the crushing debt burden on the world's poorest countries has been achieved. This is an achievement of historic proportions."

Nations in sub-Saharan Africa alone owe some $68 billion to international bodies. Rich nations had long agreed the debt must be relieved, but the international community could not agree on a formula for tackling the problem.

The package agreed to on Saturday was put forward by the United States and Britain after talks in Washington this week between Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Britain originally wanted rich countries to assume the repayments for the poor countries, to protect the lending groups' ability to create future aid packages.

But eventually, Britain agreed with the American position that the debts be scrapped outright.

But Mr. Bush agreed that rich nations would provide extra money to the lending groups, to compensate for the assets being written off. The agreement will initially cover 18 nations eligible for debt relief under the initiative, including Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana and Mali.

Nine other countries are close to completing the targets for good governance set out under the initiative. They too would qualify once the goals are met.

"This is a great deal for people in many of the very poorest countries, it reflects well on Gordon Brown and John Snow and is a tribute to the growing global campaigns to beat poverty," said Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA, a lobbying group that campaigns against AIDS and poverty in Africa. "This bold step builds serious momentum for a historic breakthrough on doubling effective aid and trade justice at the G-8 summit next month."

Britain has made tackling poverty in Africa and the developing world a priority for its presidency of the Group of 8.

Mr. Blair's approach has three prongs: increasing aid, eliminating debt and removing export subsidies and other trade barriers that make it difficult for developing nations to compete.

Aid agencies say the Group of 8 leaders must now focus on meeting Britain's target of increasing international development aid by $50 billion a year.

Some question whether agreement on that will be reached at the Group of 8 summit meeting scheduled for early July in Gleneagles, Scotland.

The United States and Japan both reject a British proposal to raise that money by selling bonds on the world capital markets.

Like the United States, Japan prefers its own bilateral aid programs, and France is pushing an initiative for an international aviation tax.



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