Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release�������������������������������������������������������������������� Contact:� Mikael Moore

March 13, 2007��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� (202) 225-2201�������������������������������������������

CONGRESSWOMAN WATERS INTRODUCES

RESOLUTION TO CANCEL HAITI�S DEBTS

����������� Washington, D.C. � Today, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to urge the IMF, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other multilateral financial institutions to cancel Haiti�s multilateral debts immediately and completely.� The resolution also urges the Secretary of the Treasury to use the voice, vote and influence of the United States within these institutions to accomplish this important goal.� The resolution is cosponsored by senior members of the House Financial Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

����������� �Haiti is a country with tremendous development needs and numerous impediments to development,� said Congresswoman Waters.� �One of those impediments is a devastating burden of international debt.�

����������� According to the IMF, Haiti owes over one billion dollars to multilateral financial institutions, including $21 million to the IMF, $507 million to the World Bank, and $534 million to the Inter-American Development Bank.� Much of Haiti�s debt burden was accumulated during the oppressive rule of the Duvalier regimes, neither of which used the money to benefit the Haitian people.� The IMF estimates that Haiti will spend $56 million on debt service payments to multilateral creditors during the 2006-07 fiscal year.�

����������� �These debt service payments are a drain on Haiti�s fragile economy,� said the Congresswoman.

����������� President Rene Garcia Preval was installed as President of Haiti last year, following democratic elections in which more than 60 percent of registered voters participated.�

����������� �The cancellation of Haiti�s debts will enable the democratically-elected government of Haiti to improve healthcare, education and other essential government services; invest in critical infrastructure; and improve the lives of the Haitian people,� said Congresswoman Waters.

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