The Cycle of Poverty and Powerlessness

The poorest people in the world are trapped in a cycle of poverty and powerlessness. This is perpetuated, at least in part, by the unremitting demands of the rich nations for money from the poor nations in debt payments.

Where did the debt come from? From the 1960s and 1970s,deveopling countries were encouraged to take on large loans, which since then has escalated into enormous and unmanageable debts.

Many countries now owe more than their original loans, even after years of repayments.

Every day, poor countries give over $100 million in debt service to rich countries and the institutions they control such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). For every $1 they receive in grant aid, they pay back more then $3 in debt service.

Meanwhile, 30,000 children are dying every day because of preventable poverty—that is from hunger, lack of clean water, and diseases that could be prevented or treated if the money was available.

[Source: Paper For World Debt Day 2005, written by Caroline Pearce, Romilly Greenhill and Jonathan Glennie]

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