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Debt Campaigners Demand G8 Leaders Act Now

Jubilee 2000, the campaign calling for the cancellation of Third World debt, today met with leaders of the G8 in Okinawa, Japan. This is the third year in a row that Jubilee 2000 has been able to force the issue of debt onto the agenda of the G8 meeting and demand that urgent action be taken.

Robert Reid, New Zealand's Jubilee 2000 Campaign Coordinator is currently in Okinawa to show this country's commitment to debt cancellation and to monitor the outcome of the G8 meeting.

"A delegation from the Jubilee 2000 campaign met with Prime Minister Mori of Japan this morning", said Robert Reid. "The delegation called on the leaders of the G8 (USA, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and Canada) to honour the promises they made last year in Cologne. Despite all the talk of debt cancellation, G8 leaders have only managed to cancel $10.6 billion worth of debt. This is only one-tenth of what was promised".

The cost of the debt crisis to Third World countries is overwhelming. In Africa, debt costs the lives of 13 children every minute. In every one of the 52 countries that Jubilee 2000 has identified as needing debt cancellation, it takes away the people's access to health care and education.

Jubilee 2000 is also calling on G8 leaders to remove many of the conditions which are being placed on countries in order for them to receive debt relief and to establish an international monitoring body for debt cancellation.

Robert Reid is available for comment and further information. He can be contacted in Okinawa on 0081 98 868 5162 (ask for Room 663). The best time to get him is between 9am and noon New Zealand time.

For local comment and activities happening around Debt Decision Day (July 23), please contact Jill Hawkey, 03 366 9274 (w) 03 332 8255 (h), or 021 267 2278.


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