Urgent Advocacy Alert from Jubilee USA (June 6): Please sign the petition to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. to urge him to support accelerated debt cancellation for Haiti and, in the meantime, an immediate moratorium on the country's debt service payments at this meeting. Jubilee USA will deliver this petition before he leaves on Wednesday, June 11. The finance ministers of the G8 countries — the world’s richest nations — meet on June 13 and 14 in Japan to discuss the food crisis. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. will be attending the G8 meeting. By canceling debts they could help alleviate the suffering of Haiti and other affected countries.
Despite a letter signed by 54 members of Congress, the Treasury Department refused to support a Congressional request urging for immediate cancellation of Haiti's debt or a freeze on Haiti's current payments to the World Bank and others. Members of Congress recognize that in a time when Haitians continue to starve it is unethical to receive payments the country could use to feed its own people. A letter released last week from Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Legislative Affairs, Kevin Fromer, stated “there is no provision in HIPC [Heavily Indebted Poor Countries] that would allow Haiti to come to Completion Point now.” The press release below includes the reactions of Congressional and human rights leaders as well as links to the letters.