Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The world's most impoverished countries are forced to pay over $100 million EVERY DAY to the rich world in debt repayments, while poverty kills millions of their people. This is true more especially in Africa. These countries are spending nearly double on repaying the debts than on health and education. Forget AIDS, more people die of starvation (this has proven to be the real epidemic) and other diseases such as cholera and malaria. In Zambia, roughly half the trained teachers die because of AIDS each year. With a life expectancy of just 33 years, Zambians die earlier than people anywhere else in the world. Despite grand statements from the world leaders, the debt crisis is far from over. Promises made seven years ago to cancel the debts have not been met.

To look the magnitude of the problem, for every 1 pound aid, 3 pounds are siphoned off as debt repayment. The UN estimates that 7 million children die unnecessarily each year, from diseases that can be cured and from unclean water that could be made safe. If money which poor countries pay to the rich world in debt service was spent instead on tackling poverty, the lives of millions of children in poor countries would be saved. Debt kills.

Making the situation even worse are the damaging and unfair conditions attached to debt cancellation. These make the poor poorer and undermine democracy, making debt itself into a tool of rich world control over poor countries. This must end.

Already, campaigner pressure has forced rich countries to cancel some debts. But more needs to be done. The white band has become the symbol of the global fight to end poverty. In 2005 8 million people wore the white band.

On the three white band days (1st July, World Debt Day [May 16] and World Poverty Day [April 24]) people made human white bands, projected them onto buildings or wrapped everywhere from St Paul's Cathedral to the European Parliament.

Keep showing your support for an end to extreme poverty and wear your white band in 2006.

Visit Jubilee Debt Campaign for more information.

Other interesting resources of information are


Frequently Asked Questions

Facts & Figures

One Big Village


Wikipedia Debt Relief

Further more N links can be found by googling. Big names like Bono have been associated with this cause. Let's do our part to make a difference.


"The only real way to look younger is not to be born so soon." -- Charles Schulz, "Things I've Had to Learn Over and Over and Over"


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