For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Pakistan: IMF -- Savior or Parasite?
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."
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.