The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Progress takes time, but it will come
I hesitated to write about this yesterday because I felt like I was not yet able to take it in fully. But make no mistake, what happened over the weekend at the meeting of the finance minsters of the G8 nations - the preliminary agreement to cancel 100% ($40 billion) of the debt owed by the 18 poorest nations - was a remarkable and historic event.

As I noted back in December, one of the major problems facing poor countries currently is that the debt they owe to the World Bank, IMF, etc. is so crippling that they must use their entire budget to just pay the interest on that debt each year - like making the minimum payment on a credit card. They had no hope of ever being able to invest in healthcare infrastructure, or schools, or job-creation programs.

The movement started with Jubilee 2000, a crusade eventually spearheaded by Bono and Pope John Paul II, to erase the debt of the poorest countries at the start of the new millenium. That effort was partially successful, but many countries were still left with staggering debts.

This new effort, promoted by,, and others, is focused on the G8 summit in July. The finance ministers have now agreed, and the public must keep the pressure on so that when the country leaders meet in July to forge the final commitment, they understand that the world supports debt relief even above and beyond this agreement.

It's an historic accomplishment. And for it, Bono should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
posted by CB @ 12:51 PM  
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