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Tell Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Baroness Amos-
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 MDGs are more important than debt service

see draft letters -

Tony Blair

Gordon Brown 

 Baroness Amos

The World has set a target of halving this number by 2015. Yet, according to the UN, the prospects of achieving this goal are ‘extremely bleak’. Not surprising, given that poor countries still pay out billions of pounds each year servicing old debts to rich countries.

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Tony Blair says we must build a world in which each individual has the 'economic and social freedom to develop their potential to the full'.  Fine words.  Let's hold him to them.

Write to Tony Blair at the address below. Tell him that:

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You welcome his commitment to justice for the world’s poor.

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Meeting the Millennium Development Goals must take priority over debt payments

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The UK government must insist that the World Bank and IMF  honour the G8 commitment 'No country genuinely committed to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform will be denied the chance to achieve the Millennium Goals through lack of finance.' 

Copy your letters to Gordon Brown and Baroness Amos

See sample letters below - draft letter

or download a WORD file  letter 1  

Write to: The Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister,

10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

For more addresses, for your MP etc - address list

How much longer must the poor wait for the debt to be cancelled?

Despite the promise of a lasting exit from this burden –

made almost five years ago at the 8 Summit in Cologne –

85% of unpayable poor country debt still remains. This means that in many desperately poor countries, poverty levels are actually rising , not falling . For example:

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In Kenya, more than half the population is below the national poverty line. The country still has to pay as much on debt servicing as it does on education, and twice as much as it spends on health.

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In Malawi, life expectancy has been consistently diminishing. A child born today can’t expect to see its 40th birthday.

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Bangladesh spends more than one-third of its national budget on debt service.  Meanwhile, 60% of the population remain illiterate and without access to sanitation.

 

 

Draft letter  1 to Tony Blair -Priority for MDG  You can cut and paste this text or load a WORD file to edit letter 1 

The Prime Minister

10 Downing Street,

London

SW1A 2AA

 

Dear Mr Blair

Millennium Development Goals  v  Debt repayments

The leaders of the G8 have frequently declared their commitment to at least meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Papers submitted by the World Bank and IMF to the UN Finance for Development conference estimate the cost of meeting the Millennium Development Goals at an additional $54bn/annum for goal 1 and potentially a further $35bn/annum to achieve the remaining goals.  Meanwhile the poorest countries still pay $23bn/annum in debt service (even after HIPC, for the 52 countries Jubilee identified). 

It cannot be right, financially, morally or even politically, to be giving a higher priority to paying debt service than to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.  Debt service must take second priority to the investment needed to reducing poverty in all its forms.

 Your government has taken a leading role and set an example in debt cancellation and in championing the cause of justice throughout the world.  Your personal commitment to the meeting the challenges in Africa have earned widespread acclaim.

Ø      Financing the Millennium Development Goals must take a higher priority than debt service.  The ‘Sustainability’ criteria must be changed to put financing the MDGs first.

Ø      Debt cancellation is more efficient and better for the countries than aid.  Following Monterrey, it is now the IFI’s turn!

Ø      Debt cancellation must be extended to cover all the 65 countries identified by the World Bank as needing increased aid to meet the MDGs

You have frequently emphasised your support and commitment to Africa.  That commitment must be translated into UK government insistence that the World Bank and IMF honour the G8 commitment 'No country genuinely committed to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform will be denied the chance to achieve the Millennium Goals through lack of finance.'

Thank you in advance for your help in saving millions of lives.

 Yours sincerely,

Letter to Gordon Brown 
You can cut and paste this text or load a WORD file to edit letter Gordon   

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

HM Treasury

Parliament Street,

London

SW1P 3AG

 Dear Chancellor

Cancel the Debt to meet the MDGs

First I really do want to congratulate you on your championing the increased aid promised by the EU and then by the USA prior to the UN Finance for Development conference.  Given the barriers you faced, the promises of increased aid represent an important step towards poverty reduction, albeit merely one more step on a long road.

 Britain was party to the Monterrey Consensus that future reviews of debt sustainability should also include an analysis of the part that debt relief plays in making progress towards achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Similarly 'No country genuinely committed to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform will be denied the chance to achieve the Millennium Goals through lack of finance.' G8 Action Plan for Africa – 2002

You know that the debt cancellation under HIPC still leaves even the 26 countries after DP spending over $2.3bn/a on debt service, which could be spent on poverty reduction, and a third of the HIPC debt relief still hasn’t been delivered. Five years after enhanced HIPC was agreed only 26 of the 42 countries have reached Decision Point.

As for meeting the MDGs, it is now half way from the 1990 base and the new aid promised doesn’t come fully on stream until 2006, just 9 years to go.  You will have seen the analysis by Jubilee Research showing that the MDGs cannot be achieved without cancelling the debt.  Perhaps you might find the World Bank’s own figures less contentious.  They show that for 65 countries, additional aid of $54bn is needed, thus underlining the importance of debt cancellation, but more importantly that the HIPC limitation of 42 countries is too restrictive.

 

What is the point in giving with one hand and taking back with the other?

 

$54bn +$35bn /annum

Extra aid estimated by World Bank/IMF to meet the MDGs for 65 countries submitted to the UN FfD conference

$23bn /annum

Debt service extracted from poorest countries even after HIPC for all 52 countries identified by Jubilee 2000

 

Ø       Financing the Millennium Development Goals must take a higher priority than debt service.  The ‘Sustainability’ criteria must be changed to put financing the MDGs first.

Ø       Debt cancellation is more efficient and better for the countries than aid.  Following Monterrey, it is now the IFI’s turn!

Ø       Debt cancellation must be extended to cover all the 65 countries identified by the World Bank as needing increased aid to meet the MDGs

Moreover although the current political focus to financing development is through the WTO Doha negotiations, these will have minimal impact on the very poorest countries because their trade is minimal and could not grow sufficiently before 2015.  Whereas the World Bank has estimated that cancelling debt would add about 2% to their GDP growth.

I’m sure that you are aware that there is widespread support for debt cancellation and that EDM 736 has the support of over 350 MPs, clearly demonstrating the political support for meeting the commitments that have been made.  The whole campaign calls on your leadership at the forthcoming World Bank IMF meeting, to deliver substantial progress on debt cancellation.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Letter to Baroness Amos

You can cut and paste this text or load a WORD file to edit letter Amos   

 

DFID

94 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 5JL
For the attention of -Baroness Amos

Dear Minister

Cancel the Debt to meet the MDGs

 The UK Government deserve congratulations for its leadership in reducing debt and increasing aid to redress the injustice of world poverty.  Given the barriers you faced, the promises of increased aid before Monterrey represent another important step towards poverty reduction, albeit merely one more step on a long road.

 You will have seen the Jubilee Research report that costs achieving the MDGs and clearly shows that they cannot be achieved whilst still paying debt service. You know that the debt cancellation under HIPC still leaves even the 26 countries after DP spending over $2.3bn/a on debt service, which could be spent on poverty reduction, and a third of the HIPC debt relief still hasn’t been delivered.  For all the HIPC countries, the total debt service payments are $7.4bn/a (after HIPC reductions) whilst aid grants are $7.9bn/a!  One step forward, one step back!

 Perhaps you might find the World Bank’s own figures less contentious.  They show that for 65 countries, additional aid of $54bn is needed, thus underlining the importance of debt cancellation, but more importantly that the HIPC limitation of 42 countries is too restrictive.

 What is the point in giving with one hand and taking back with the other?

$54bn +$35bn /annum

Extra aid estimated by World Bank/IMF to meet the MDGs for 65 countries submitted to the UN FfD conference

$23bn /annum

Debt service extracted from poorest countries even after HIPC for all 52 countries identified by Jubilee 2000

 Ø       Financing the Millennium Development Goals must take a higher priority than debt service.  The ‘Sustainability’ criteria must be changed to put financing the MDGs first.

Ø       Debt cancellation is more efficient and better for the countries than aid.  Following Monterrey, it is now the IFI’s turn!

Ø       Debt cancellation must be extended to cover all the 65 countries identified by the World Bank as needing increased aid to meet the MDGs

Moreover although the current political focus to financing development is through the WTO Doha negotiations, these will have minimal impact on the very poorest countries because their trade is minimal and could not grow sufficiently before 2015.  Whereas the World Bank has estimated that cancelling debt would add about 2% to their GDP growth.

I’m sure that you are aware that there is widespread support for debt cancellation and that EDM 736 has the support of over 350 MPs , clearly demonstrating the political support for meeting the commitments that have been made.  The whole campaign calls on your leadership at the forthcoming World Bank IMF meeting, to deliver substantial progress on debt cancellation. 

Yours sincerely

 

 

  USEFUL ADDRESSES

 

For more addresses see addresses 

 

Your MP's Westminster Address

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 3000

 

Prime Minister:

The Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer:

The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP

HM Treasury

Parliament Street

London

SW1P 3AG

 

Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ("Foreign Secretary"):

The Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

London

SW1A 2AH

 

Secretary of State for International Development:

Baroness Amos

Department for International Development

94 Victoria Street

London

SW1E 5JL

 

World Bank HQ

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433

U.S.A.

[President: James D. Wolfensohn]

 

International Monetary Fund

700 19th Street NW

Washington, DC 20431

USA

[Managing Director: Horst Köhler]

 

 

JDC OFFICE ADDRESS

 

PO Box 36620

London

SE1 0WJ

 

 

Campaigning works

24,000,000 people signed the Jubilee petition
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That  won $100,000,000,000 of promised debt cancellation.

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That's $4,000 per signature!

50,000 people went on the Cologne march.  
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That G8 meeting added $50Billion of debt cancellation.

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That's $1,000,000 per person! 

Genoa G8 2001

 

 

Jubilee Web Group - last updated  11 September 2003