300 organisations from 56 countries demand debt cancellation for developing countries, as IMF and World Bank meetings take place in Washington
- Demonstrations will take place across the world to coincide with the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, and the G20 Finance Ministers meeting
- At least 54 countries now face a severe debt crisis
200 organisations from 56 countries are demanding immediate action on debt cancellation, as the global health, food, energy and climate crises continue to exacerbate an already desperate debt emergency.
Desperate, debt-dependent countries are forced to access loans pushed by private lenders, but this time, at higher interest rates. This is compounding a debt crisis faced by at least 54 countries.
The Global Week of Action for Justice and Debt Cancellation is calling on the G20, IMF and World Bank to act on the growing demand for immediate cancellation of unsustainable and illegitimate debts during their meetings this week.
Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development said:
“Millions of people around the world are caught in multiple crises of public health, economic recession and climate change. Mounting debts mean mounting debt service, resulting in cuts to budgets for healthcare, and education, decent housing and other essentials. Driven by global economic turmoil, interest rates have skyrocketed, pushing millions to the brink. Burdensome debts are also stopping governments from tackling the climate crisis.
“Many countries have already defaulted, or are at risk of debt default, clearly a consequence of years of debt servicing and compliance with austerity conditionalities at the expense of their own development needs. Governments should have changed their debt payment and borrowing policies and also demanded debt cancellation before they reached that point. The most recent examples include Sri Lanka, Zambia, Lebanon and Ghana. Meanwhile Pakistan, which has recently experienced devastating floods because of the climate crisis, has seen 33 million people displaced. Yet the government is still expected to pay US$18 billion in debt payments to foreign lenders. This situation cannot continue.”
Citizens across the world will also take to the streets on Thursday 13th October. Demonstrations, which are part of a week of action, will take place from London to Manila, from Kampala to Lima.
The campaign demands include immediate debt cancellation by international institutions, governments and private lenders; stronger legislation to make it mandatory for private lenders to take part in debt cancellation; and changes to financial and economic systems that prevent the accumulation of unsustainable and illegitimate debt and to offer fair and comprehensive solutions to debt crisis.