Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Press Release – House Financial Services committee passes congresswoman waters’ bill to cancel poor country debts



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

April 3, 2008������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� (202) 225-2201







Washington, D.C. � Today, the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Maxine Waters� debt relief bill, H.R. 2634, Jubilee Act, by a voice vote.

�The Jubilee Act will free up resources for poverty reduction in some of the poorest countries in the world.� I am proud that my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee had the foresight to support debt cancellation to help people in poverty.� I look forward to the passage of the Jubilee Act by the full House of Representatives,� said Congresswoman Waters.

The Jubilee Act expands debt cancellation for impoverished countries, provided that they commit to use the savings to reduce poverty.� The bill passed the Financial Services Committee with strong support from both Chairman Barney Frank and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus, as well as over 100 cosponsors.

�Debt cancellation allows poor countries to use their own money to address the needs of their people.� It is simple, effective, and the right thing to do,� said the Congresswoman.

Congresswoman Waters has been a leader on issues of poor country debt relief for the past decade.� In 1999, she worked with her colleagues and the Clinton Administration to authorize the debt relief program known as the �HIPC Initiative.��� The following year, she offered an amendment on the House Floor to the Fiscal Year 2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which increased funding for debt relief from $69 million to $225 million.� The amendment passed the House, thereby ensuring full funding for the program.

�Debt cancellation saved Uganda over $57 million in 2006.� Uganda used the savings to invest in primary education, malaria control, healthcare, and infrastructure.� The Jubilee Act will allow more impoverished countries to benefit from the cancellation of their debts,� said the Congresswoman.

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