Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Debt Relief For Poor Countries Essential In Global Fight Against Coronavirus – Oxfam NZ

Oxfam New Zealand is calling on the New Zealand government to free up spending for global public health, by advocating for the immediate cancellation of all external debt payments due to be made in 2020 by developing country governments.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Advocacy and Campaigns Director Joanna Spratt said: “Countries around the world need to massively scale up their health budgets to fight the coronavirus crisis. But the very poorest countries are due to spend US$40 billion on debt payments in 2020 alone.

“World leaders are meeting this week to talk about debt cancellation at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. While the G20 have already agreed to a suspension, this only kicks the problem down the road. This moment of unprecedented need requires at least a cancellation of all debt payments owing this year, so that money can instead help save millions of lives.

“Many of our neighbours in the Pacific region are already at high risk of debt distress. Countries like Papua New Guinea, where they only have 14 ventilators for their eight million people, currently spend more on debt repayments than public health. Until we are all safe, no one is safe.”

“New Zealand can be an advocate for debt cancellation at the World Bank and IMF meetings – as an aid donor that doesn’t give loans, our position on this is strong. We have a responsibility to advocate for our neighbours facing this intolerable situation.”

Oxfam’s recent report Dignity Not Destitution highlights how the coronavirus and the disruption caused to the global economy could push up to half a billion more people into poverty. It also shows that 46 countries were spending on average four times more money on paying debts than they were on public health services at the beginning of this year, when the coronavirus was spreading.

“This pandemic will require a massive injection of resources to support economies, so it makes no sense for poorer countries to be transferring vital resources to the rich world. The costs of the debt burden are paid by the poorest people, in cuts to government services, and women are the hardest hit.”

Over 200 organisations, including Oxfam, have signed a statement calling for the cancellation of all debt payments due from developing countries to bilateral, multilateral and private creditors. In addition more than 750,000 people have signed a petition calling for urgent debt relief.

The international aid agency is also advocating for the New Zealand government to provide NZ$25 million in immediate, additional humanitarian funding as part of an emergency coronavirus response package for people living in the world’s worst crisis and emergency situations; and for the protecting and maintaining of existing aid and climate finance budgets so that fewer people are thrown into poverty by the global pandemic.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels