Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti: an advocacy action

Please read the following message from the ONE campaign to learn how your advocacy has a role in the recent Haitian crisis to try to drop the debt of Haiti and ease the burden of its struggling population.

Click here for "Drop Haitian Debt"
The harrowing images and stories coming out of Haiti are devastating to watch. The incredible outpouring of concern, aid and assistance coming from the United States and all over the world offers hope, but for many of us the question lingers: “What else can I do?”

One way we can help Haitians build a better tomorrow is to convince global creditors to cancel Haiti’s $890 million international debt. Doing so will help make sure that every possible future dollar goes towards rebuilding a stronger Haiti, not to servicing old debts.

Thankfully, the United States has already forgiven Haiti’s past debts and now only gives assistance in the form of grants. We need Haiti’s other creditors—the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and countries like Taiwan and Venezuela—to follow our lead and do the same.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to help make that happen. Please click the link below to join me and send Secretary Geithner this urgent message:

Drop the Haitian Debt!

As Haiti rebuilds from this disaster, please work to secure the immediate cancellation of Haiti’s $890 million debt and ensure that any emergency earthquake assistance is provided in the forms of grants, not debt-incurring loans.

Even before the earthquake hit, Haiti—the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—faced tremendous challenges. But there was also hope. Recent years have brought a more stable government and tenuous gains in the fight against poverty.

Haiti needs an international effort to make sure that, as it begins the long road to recovery, it is not burdened with unpayable debts. We must also be vigilant that any new aid from the IMF and other sources doesn’t come in the form of loans that would create new debt for Haiti.

It all starts by calling on Secretary Geithner to use his influence to persuade international lending institutions and countries to do the right thing and drop Haiti’s debt.

Take action now:

Thank you,

Sheila Nix
U.S. Executive Director, ONE

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