PAPDA again calls for the unconditional cancellation of Haiti’s debt, and calls on the Haitian authorities to use the debt payments for the hundreds of thousands of victims of recent storms and floods

19 September 2008 by Camille Chalmers


Port-au-Prince, 10 September 2008 - (AHP) - The secretary-general of
the Haitian Platform to Advocate for Alternative Development (PAPDA),
Camille Chalmers, has pleaded again for international donors to
unconditionally cancel Haiti’s external debt.

Camille Chalmers feels that is logical that donors take into account
the situation of acute crisis facing Haiti today, and cancel this debt
which amounts to US$1.6 billion, with an annual debt service Debt service The sum of the interests and the amortization of the capital borrowed. of about
US$60 to 80 million.

Nearly a thousand people have died in floods caused by four consecutive hurricanes that destroyed much of the infrastructure of the country, including the collapse of several bridges.

Mr. Chalmers called on the Haitian authorities to have the courage to
use the funds for debt payments for the hundreds of thousands of
victims of the recent bad weather, for reconstruction programmes, and
to prevent a food crisis from hitting the country in the coming months.

"It’s really incomprehensible that the Haitian authorities are
unlocking only 35 million gourdes (US$875,000) for victims of the
recent weather, while they are forced to pay between US$5 and 6 million for a single month (in debt service)", said Chalmers

He recalled that he had already found it absurd that the Haitian State
had had to pay tens of millions of US dollars for debt service to
international financial institutions just a few months after the
passage of Tropical Storm Jeanne in 2004 when more than 3,000 people
were killed in the city of Gonaives (north) and there was considerable
material damage.

The head of the PAPDA has also called on the Haitian authorities not to
sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) at an upcoming meeting of the heads of state of the CARIFORUM countries in Barbados.

"This agreement is a proposal from the EU to the 79 countries of the
African/Caribbean/Pacific group (ACP), an initiative that never will
benefit poor countries, since it is part of a logic of trade and
investment", Camille Chalmers said.




Translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group

Camille Chalmers

Économiste, professeur, représentant de la Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif (PAPDA), membre du réseau CADTM-AYNA

Other articles in English by Camille Chalmers (2)

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