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Pakistan: IMF -- Savior or Parasite?
WASHINGTON - September 8 -
ERIC LeCOMPTE, MELINDA ST. LOUIS
LeCompte is executive director and St. Louis is deputy director of the Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations, human rights groups and development agencies.
The network just released a statement: "Jubilee USA joins global advocacy groups in an outcry against the new debt that Pakistan has been forced to borrow in light of the worst humanitarian disaster in its history. The $450 million emergency loan announced with much fanfare by the IMF late last week may provide needed cash now, but will be quickly nullified when Pakistan sends this year's $500 million payment on previous loans back to the IMF.
"The new loan, which will require up to $15 million in interest payments this year, joins $3 billion in loans recently announced by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This commitment adds to the country's already crushing $54 billion debt burden.
"While 60 percent of the Pakistani population lives in dire poverty, the country does not fit the World Bank and IMFâ€™s criteria for a 'low-income country.' Under the current IMF rules, Pakistan does not qualify for debt relief under the Fundâ€™s new 'Post Catastrophe Debt Relief Facility' because of this technicality. Jubilee USA calls on IMF shareholders, such as the U.S. government, to lead in ensuring that Pakistan receives needed debt relief from the IMF and other creditors."