The gap between the world's rich and poor has never been wider.
But it isn't chance or bad luck that keeps people trapped in bitter, unrelenting poverty. It's man-made factors like:
a glaringly unjust global trade system,
a debt burden so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery and
insufficient and ineffective aid.
Despite grand statements from world leaders, the debt crisis is far from over. Creditors have still not delivered on the promises they made seven years ago to cancel unpayable poor country debts. As a result, many countries still have to spend more on debt repayments than on meeting the needs of their people.
Rich countries and the institutions they control must act to cancel all the unpayable debt of the poorest countries. They should not do this by depriving poor countries of new aid, but by digging into their own pockets and providing new money.
International institutions like the IMF and World Bank must stop asking poor countries to jump through hoops in order to qualify for debt relief. Poor countries should no longer have to privatize basic services or liberalize their economies as a condition for getting the debt relief they so desperately need.