[StBernard] Subcommittee Approves Measure to Cancel Haiti's Debt

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Thu Mar 4 20:46:23 EST 2010

Subcommittee Approves Measure to Cancel Haiti's Debt

Washington, DC - Today, the International Monetary Policy and Trade
Subcommittee approved H.R. 4573, the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in
Haiti Act, introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). The bill would require
the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the U.S. Executive Directors at
the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB), and other multilateral development institutions to
use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to do the following:

1. cancel immediately and completely all debts owed by Haiti to these
2. suspend Haiti's debt service payments to the institutions until such
time as the debts are canceled completely; and
3. provide additional assistance to Haiti in the form of grants so that
Haiti does not accumulate additional debts.

The United States has called on the IMF to cancel Haiti's debt to the IMF
using the institution's own internal resources, and H.R. 4573 directs the
Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the IMF's US executive director to
advocate the use of some of the realized windfall profits from the sale of
IMF gold, which was authorized by Congress last year, to provide debt stock
relief, debt service relief and grants for Haiti. The measure also calls
upon the Administration to use all appropriate diplomatic influence to
secure complete cancellation of any remaining bilateral, multilateral and
private creditor debt owed by Haiti.

"The country of Haiti is engaged in a massive recovery process and cannot
bear the financial burden of its existing debt obligations. Today, I held a
Subcommittee hearing to discuss the process of bilateral and multilateral
debt relief for Haiti to bring about long term economic recovery. I look
forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner to assist the people of
Haiti in their time of greatest need," stated Congressman Gregory Meeks
(D-NY), Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and

"Haiti faces enormous challenges now, and the burden of paying off foreign
debt would prevent the nation from taking necessary steps to help its people
at this perilous time. I introduced H.R. 4573 so that Haiti can use its
limited resources to make both immediate and long-term investments in
essential humanitarian relief, reconstruction and development efforts," said
Congresswoman Waters.

"The moral case for canceling Haiti's debt is clear," said Barney Frank
(D-MA), Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, "and the
Committee stands prepared to continue to work with the Administration to
authorize a swift and substantial U.S. commitment to comprehensive
multilateral debt cancellation for Haiti."

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, owes $828 million to
multilateral development institutions according to the U.S. Department of
the Treasury. This includes $447 million to the IDB, $284 million to the
IMF, $39 million to the World Bank, and $58 million to the International
Fund for Agricultural Development.


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