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Why Drop the Debt?

Could international debt cancellation help end global poverty?  From 1970-2002, Africa received some $540 billion in loans and paid back $550 billion in prinicipal and interest--with $295 billion yet to be paid!

The situation is complicated by a perfect storm of food scarcity, global warming, skyrocketing petroleum prices, and population explosion.  And further complicated by the inclement weather that is devastating normally abundant First World food crops.  The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates predict that the US corn stockpile will be cut in half (to a three-week supply) by the time the next crop is ready to harvest.  The soybean stockpile will shrink to a two-week supply before this fall's harvest.  More than 73 million people in 78 countries that depend on UN World Food Programme distributions are facing reduced rations this year.

Africa pays more in debt service than it receives in foreign aid, new loans, and assistance.  "Every child in Africa is born with a financial burden which a lifetime's work cannot repay."  --All Africa Council of Churches


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