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The Jubilee Debt Campaign: Poster campaign to expose "cruel joke" of debt relief

The Jubilee Debt Campaign, representing over 100 national and church organisations, has just launched a stark new poster campaign, exposing the fact that one year on from Jubilee 2000, government debt promises remain unmet.

The posters are going go up in churches, community centres, libraries and work-places around the UK over the next few weeks.

Under the headline "Still waiting for the Jubilee", the posters point outthat only 15% of the unpayable debt of the world's poor has been cancelled and calls on Tony Blair to go much further on debt.

Stephen Rand of Tearfund and chair of JDC said: "We keep being told that the debt problem has been dealt with, but the goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 will be no more than a cruel joke on the poor, if more debt is not cancelled. Economic developments since September 11th make this even more apparent."

Ashok Sinha of the Jubilee Debt Campaign said: "Over one billion people living in the world's poorest countries are still desperately in need of debt relief. This is the year of the Queen's Golden Jubilee but the world's poor are still waiting for their promised Jubilee."

Beverley Duckworth of the World Development Movement said: "As we enter the third year of the new millennium, many desperately poor countries are still spending more on debt repayments to the richest than they do on health or education. The continuing debt crisis shames rich governments. Claims to be friends of the world's poor mean nothing while the debt remains, and until it goes away, neither will we."

Jubilee Debt Campaign is a successor to Jubilee 2000, consisting of a coalition of almost 50 national and church organisations and over 60 local/regional groups. CAFOD and Christian Aid Tearfund are founder member organisations of JDC.

52 of the world's poorest countries owe an unpayable historical debt to the rich world of over 300bn. Only about 18bn of this has so far been cancelled, with a total of 54bn of cancellation due to occur "over time".

These correspond to merely 5% (actual) and around 15% (to occur) cancellation of unpayable poor country debt stocks.

Independent Catholic News