Friday, 15 January 2010

How much debt does Haiti owe?

Answer: 641 million dollars.

Avaaz, the global campaigning network, has taken the commendable step of launching a petition demanding governments and financial institutions cancel the debt owed by Haiti. This is a demand I hope campaign groups and political organisations will pick up on and rally around. It is the practical and humanitarian antidote to the corporate vultures swooping down on Haiti, treating Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine' as a how-to manual instead of a political critique.

Here's the appeal from Avaaz:

'As Haiti begins to receive desperately needed funds to cope with the earthquake, it still owes hundreds of millions of dollars in debt - a legacy of loans from global financial institutions and donor nations to unelected governments of years past.

If these debts aren't cancelled, Haiti will be sending tens of millions to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IMF even as it struggles to rescue and rebuild.

Sign the petition below, and Avaaz will deliver it to the IDB, the IMF, and donor governments like the United States to urge them to cancel the debt immediately - and to make sure that earthquake relief doesn't create a new debt burden.'

Sign the petition HERE.

Recommended reading: Our role in Haiti's plight


  1. And now we hear that Rush Limbaugh has advised Americans not to donate to the Haiti appeal because President Obama would take the money and use it for his own ends (by which Limbaugh seems to mean that Obama will give it to non-white Americans). I'm not sure that there's any response that can be made to this. It's just absurd!

  2. As with Pat Roberstson's inane comments, it's best just to stand well back and let Limbaugh make a fool of himself. Nick Griffin, incidentally, has shown his true colours with a remark that just as many people are dying in this country due to the weather as there are victims of the Haiti disaster.

  3. All those thousands of corpses littering the British roadways, sure

  4. Hi Luna.

    I see you have answered the question of how much haiti owes. Ive been looking for some time a place where i can see a definite list of how much particular nations owe to the world bank and whoever else they might owe. Do you know where i could find such a place?

  5. Just done a quick search of the places I'd expect to find such a list, but there isn't anything definitive. So, if anyone knows where to find a list of how much debt is owed by different countries, please comment here!