Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Im Gonna Miss My Bus

NP - Neil Zaza - Im Alright

...but time for some facts, nonetheless!

from ... I recommend visiting the site and reading up. I bought the book, but havent had a chance to get past the introduction yet.

The following text was the basis of a presentation by Tarek El Diwany at Cambridge University's "One World Week" during February 2002

One kind of terrorism hasn't been making the news recently. Its weapon is debt, and it is a most efficient killer.
"Relieved of their annual debt repayments, the severely indebted countries could use the funds for investments that in Africa alone would save the lives of about 21 million children by 2000 and provide 90 million girls and women with access to basic education"
UNDP Human Development Report 1997, p. 93

The poor nations of the world are told that if they borrow and invest wisely, they will be able to repay their debts and more. But they've been hearing this for fifty years, and the debt just keeps on growing.

1980 1990 2000
Developing country debt ($bn) 525.4 1259.8 2140.6
Actual payments of interest plus principal ($bn) 73.4 140.6 337.8
IMF World Economic Outlook 2001

Western economists tell the developing world that growth will generate sufficient wealth for all their people. But ours is a very unequal world, so when the growth comes few people see its benefits.
"225 people own more wealth than the poorest 2.5 billion people"
UNDP Human Development Report 1998

The development institutions trumpet their aid to the world, to show that something is being done. But what is given with one hand, is taken back many times over with the other. According to the World Bank, in 1999 Angola received $261m in aid but paid $1144m in debt service, Cameroon received $190m in aid but paid $549m in debt service, Kenya received $195m in aid but paid $716m in debt service, and Vietnam received 257m in aid but paid 1410m in debt service (Global Development Finance, 2001).

When charity pop concerts for Africa are held in London or New York, the tens of millions raised are typically enough to pay the continent's interest bill for a few hours. In 1999, the developing countries excluding the Eastern block were more than $2,030 billion in debt to the developed world (Global Development Finance, 2001). In 2000, the IMF put the figure for total developing country debt at $2,140 billion (World Economic Outlook, 2000). Some $700 million per day now flows in debt repayment from the developing world to the developed world (UNDP Human Development Report, 1997).

If we examine some basic indicators of wellbeing, we can begin to see the physical consequences of the debt. In 1995 the industrialised countries experienced child mortality (the number of deaths at less than 5 years of age per 1000 live births) at a rate of 16. In south Asia the figure was 109, and in sub-Saharan Africa it was 169 (UNDP Human Development Report 1998). This should not surprise us. In Tanzania, debt repayment was six times spending on healthcare, whilst in Uganda annual spending was £2 per person on healthcare and £11.50 per person on debt repayment (Jubilee 2000).

According to the United Kingdom's Department for International Development in 2000, 1.2 billion people live in "abject poverty", meaning that they have no basic medical care, nutrition or housing. In the sub-Sahara, 48% of people go without health services, 48% of people are without safe water and 42% are illiterate, whilst in south-Asia the corresponding figures are 22%, 18% and 49.5%. Measured in 1987 US Dollars, GDP per capita in sub Sahara was $520 and in South Asia $521, whilst in the Industrialised Countries it was $12,764 (1995 figures compiled in UNDP Human Development Report, 1998).

Posted by illogicist at 1:12 AM


  1. Blogger Wardat_il'7leej posted at 4/27/2005 01:21:00 AM  
    Do i understand that this blog is back from the public to view???

    Link ya? :D
  2. Blogger illogicist posted at 4/27/2005 01:30:00 AM  
    This blog was 'created' yesterday or the day before. Link if you want ;)

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