Saturday, 25 September 2010

Call to Freeze Pakistan's Debt

The global anti-poverty campaign ONE International is Calling upon the IMF to freeze Pakistan’s debt as the country recovers from one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded.

More than 20 million people have been displaced by the floods that hit Pakistan in July. A fifth of the country was under water, with 2 million acres of crops destroyed. Thousands of people have lost their lives and millions more have lost their homes. Severe threats of water-borne disease and malnutrition are putting survivors of the initial floods at further risk.

With 60% of the population already living below the poverty line, Pakistan will need all its available resources to help it recover from this crippling crisis and to fight long-term poverty. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) – the institution that oversees debt repayments - can play a key role in this. By freezing Pakistan’s estimated $3billion annual debt repayment for two years, the international community can give Pakistan vital extra resources to spend on recovery and rebuilding, rather than debt-repayment. Currently every dollar spent on debt servicing is one that could be spent on the flood victims. Strong oversight mechanisms should be put in place to ensure this money reaches the people who need it most. Head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Khan, is the target of the petition.
Please sign the petition here