Calls for IMF and World Bank to Cancel Debts of Ebola Ravaged Nations
The Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent issues statement demanding relief
An alliance of African mayors is demanding that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank cancel debts owed by West African nations that are in the grips of an Ebola crisis.
The call was issued this week in a Communiqué entitled "The Accra Accord on Ebola," which emerged from a three-day conference of Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent, according to Ghana Web. The gathering took place in Accra, Ghana and brought together participants from over 80 countries.
Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia—which are at the center of the Ebola crisis—together owe approximately $370 million to the IMF, according to Jubilee USA. Of this, $55 million is due in two years or less. Meanwhile, World Bank numbers from 2012 find that Guinea pays approximately $45 million more per year on debt than on public health.
Meanwhile, these loans have been given on the condition that these countries impose austere domestic programs, including cuts to public health spending.
The network Jubilee USA has been calling for debt relief of Ebola stricken countries, and earlier this month, had some success in pressing U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to take up their cause to the G20 meetings.