As PIH and countless other relief, recovery, and development organizations tend to the immediate needs of the Haitian people, an important question stands: How can we help Haiti not only right now or a few weeks from now, but years from now? How do we help Haiti, as former President Bill Clinton said, build back better? And how can you help?
One easy thing you can do: Sign this petition to cancel Haiti’s debt, which currently tops $1 billion. The petition is part of the ONE campaign. Here are some things you should know about debt cancellation
- Some developing countries spend decades repaying debt that was forced on them by corrupt regimes. They are then required to accrue more debt to make payments on the old loans— essentially losing money that should be going to build the country’s education, healthcare, and infrastructure systems. It’s a vicious cycle and seemingly impossible to halt. When the price of fuel and fertilizers rises—and the global economy plummets—developing countries and their poorest citizens pay the steepest price.
- Since 1996, many industrialized countries have worked to cancel developing countries’ debts, helping to free up money that these countries can now invest in their people and their land. Once relieved of their debts, Mozambique used their money to vaccinate children against diptheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. Cameroon used their savings to fund a national HIV/AIDS program that focused on education, testing, and prevention of HIV/AIDS—including prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
Over 125,000 people have already signed the petition—and that includes many of us at PIH. Haiti needs all our help in the months and years to come—and $1 billion in debt will only act to impede progress. Please go here and help us build Haiti back better: http://www.one.org/us/actnow/drophaitiandebt/index.html?rc=drophaitiandebtblog
And after you sign the petition, remember to tell your friends to do the same!
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