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‘Speed it up’ urges debt group


for immediate release

17 October 2008: International Day for the Elimination of Poverty

‘Speed it up’ urges debt group

A group focused on cancelling the unpayable debt of some of the world’s poorest countries is calling for New Zealand to take a leading role in the elimination of poverty.

Launched on the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Poverty, and in anticipation of the upcoming New Zealand election, Jubilee Aotearoa Debt Action Network has published a booklet urging voters and candidates to consider how the unpayable debt of poor countries is creating poverty.

“New Zealand is a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. In response to the food crisis both institutions are advising poor countries to go further into debt to deal with their food shortages. This is despite repayment of debt being a clear cause of the crisis in the first place,” said Jubilee Aotearoa spokesperson, Gillian Southey.

“We think New Zealand needs to play a key role within the IMF and the World Bank to make changes to the unjust structures that underlie international poverty,’ said Ms Southey.

"Current attention has focused on the desperate state of the global economy and the vast sums being spent on bailing out some of the richest banks in the world, but it is the people in the real economy experiencing daily hunger who are paying with their lives.

“As a responsible global citizen we need to speed up our work towards more justice and less suffering. Unless countries like ours take a stand, the vision of a world without poverty will remain just that,” she said.

The Jubilee Aotearoa booklet: The Food Crisis: More debt or more justice? can be downloaded from: www.debtaction.org.nz



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