Jubilee South take action against the debt and ifi’s
This year under the slogan “Break the Chains, Change the System”, in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, movements and organizations that form part of the Jubilee South network will engage in diverse activities aimed at drawing attention and strengthening resistance and alternatives to the domination exercised by a debt that is illegitimate and has been further exacerbated in the present global context of systemic crisis
The social and ecological costs of the debt imposed on the Global South and the questioning of the role of the International Financial Institutions will be the main focus of attention during the Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs from October 7 through 17, worldwide.
Several days of debate and mobilization are expected during this Week promoted by the South-North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt with the participation, too, of other networks and organizations. On this occasion, among many others, three calls stand out:
World Bank out of climate!
Within days of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, to be held this year in Washington, DC, under the banner “World Bank out of Climate!”, organizations will demonstrate and present statements to WB officials and offices in South countries, rejecting the role which it seeks to consolidate in the negotiations on climate change and calling on the World Bank and its sister institutions to get out of climate finance.
The World Bank seeks to impose its definition of the problem and its solutions, according to the statement to be presented. The organizations further affirm that the strategy of the North, in the face of global warming, is to seek to maintain its impunity, save money, and transfer responsibility to the South via the promotion and support of false solutions such as carbon trading, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, agrofuels, and the selling of technologies. In this scheme, the role for the World Bank is similar to that played in recent decades when it propagated a development model based on external indebtedness, and then used that debt to impose structural adjustment, privatization and the neoliberal opening.
Solidarity with Pakistan and Haiti!
On October 14, movements throughout Asia and around the world will take action in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, in the wake of the recent terrible flooding.
Actions will focus on the call for immediate debt cancellation and reparations for climate debt related to the flooding. Thus far, the IMF, the World Bank, and Asian Development Bank have chosen to offer more loans instead of cancelling the debts they claim from Pakistan. Overall, loans of these institutions and other multilateral financial institutions come up to more than 50% of Pakistan’s total outstanding external debts.
A similar call is also being made in relation to the alleged “humanitarian aid” promised to Haiti, eight months after the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation leaving nearly 1,500,000 homeless people, and 2,000,000 vulnerable to malnutrition.
For October 15, the deadline for the renewal of the UN Mission of Stabilization (MINUSTAH) in Haiti, there is a call for a special day of solidarity with the Haitian people, to also demand the withdrawal of these troops, the immediate cancellation of the external debt that still weighs on the country, and reparations for what has unjustly been paid. In this regard, the International Monetary Fund announced the cancellation of the debt it claimed of Haiti, but conditioned on the start of a new process of indebtedness tied to the big multinational companies engaged in the field of reconstruction. To make matters worse, the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (CIRH) complements the MINUSTAH, putting the finishing touch to the occupation for the neocolonial management of Haiti on behalf of foreign powers.
Various activities are being prepared on various problems related to debt and the role of financial institutions. For example, in Asia, the organization of Bangladesh EquityBD will hold a series of public forums, seminars and cultural events in various cities to focus attention on “Food Sovereignty and the role of the IFIs”.
In Africa, the Coalition on Debt and Development of Zimbabwe (ZIMCODD) will hold among several activities a public commemoration in the city of Harare, on October 9, demanding an official audit on external debt, its cancellation, and to call attention on the need to implement reforms to the lending policy.
Among the activities to be undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean is a joint “Workshop on Finance and Climate in South America”, organized by Jubilee South/Americas, the Brazil Network on Multilaterial Financial Institutions, Latindadd, and Oxfam International, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Workshop will conclude on October 7th with a manifestation outside the offices of the WB/International Finance Corporation in Sao Paulo, and the presentation of a joint statement demanding “World Bank Out of Climate.”
Several countries in Central America will call attention to the relationship between climate change and debt. Nicaragua is preparing a Pre Hearing of the Climate Justice Tribunal. El Salvador, among other actions, is joining with a huge march for climate justice on October13th. Numerous educational events will also take place during the Week of Action, including a workshop on “The role of the IFIs in the carbon market” in Hermosillo, Mexico, another in Buenos Aires on “The social impacts of debt today in Argentina”, and in Panama the first course on Political Ecology, plus a mobilization against the debt on Oct.12 together with the Cry of the Excluded. While organizations in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Havana and Hermosillo will be in the streets to show support for the Haitian people and demand the withdrawal of the MINUSTAH troops and unconditional debt cancellation.
The Global Week of Action Against Debt and IFIs is held since 2007 and is convened by the International South-North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt.