Decision To Forgive Part Of Haiti's Debt Praised
NEW YORK - Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) praised the decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to forgive $268 million of Haiti’s outstanding debt, allowing the earthquake-ravaged country to focus its resources on rebuilding without the burden of a crushing financial obligation.
In January, Weiner sent letters to the U.S. representatives to both the IMF and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) asking that they begin the process of forgiving Haiti’s debt. The IDB Board of Governors agreed to forgive Haiti’s outstanding debt in March.
“More than six months after suffering a devastating earthquake, the people of Haiti are still in desperate need of help. Haiti should be worrying about rebuilding, not international loans,” Weiner said.
Last year, The World Bank, the IDB and the IMF joined together to forgive $1.2 billion of Haiti’s debt, but over $600 million remained when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation. With thousands of Haitians homeless, and with the country’s government in ruins, Haiti has little ability to repay these loans.
In addition to the debt forgiveness, the IMF issued Haiti a 3-year, $60 million loan. The IMF and the IDB, to which the United States is the largest contributor, provide multilateral low-interest emergency and economic development loans to developing nations. The earthquake in Haiti killed an estimated 300,000 people and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.