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Debt Foregiveness for Tsunami Victim Countries
Alex Steffen, 30 Dec 04

People are starting to point out a major tsunami disaster relief and reconstruction step we could all push for: debt foregiveness.

Indonesia's foreign debt is $150 billion, equal to 65% of its GDP. "The government is due to set aside some $14 billion in repayments in 2004, roughly half its projected tax revenues for the year."

Tiny Sri Lanka owes 10.1 billion. "One of the key constraints Sri Lanka is facing is the burden of its debt payments on its ability to finance public expenditure."

All around the region, foreign debt -- much of it accrued under despotic and corrupt governments and now being paid for by the people they robbed -- is a serious problem.

If we're serious about helping, we ought to just cancel these debts. Not restructure them, not reduce them. Cancel them. We can attach conditions, sure, like debt-for-relief-spending, but cancel them we should.

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Comments

Canada gets the ball rolling with "temporary debt relief."
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/12/30/debt-tsunami041220.html


Posted by: Jeremy on 30 Dec 04

I agree, some of the debit should be lifted, I mean one of the main reasons why this whole thing happened in the first place, was because of nations lacking the technology/money…etc; To implant proper technology that help detect when a tsunami is about to hit or when there is a tremor under an ocean/sea. America already has such technology, protecting it coast line, and it wouldn’t help if other countries somehow found the money to use the same technology as well.
News is that the UN is already going to deploy these technologies in the Indian sea, before the end of 2005.

To get to my conclusion, debit is one of the key factors that determine when a government can or can not provide for its citizens. I say relieve some of it, or put it on temporary hold, until these countries can regain some of its stability back.


Posted by: Mohamad Mcheimech on 30 Dec 04



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