Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Drop the Debt

  I am writing following your invitation to submit a briefing note from Drop the Debt which may be of interest to the Treasury Committee in advance of the evidence session with Stephen Pickford. The Committee's session is timely in the context of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries' (HIPC) initiative for the poorest countries. As you know, the first 22 HIPC countries are now in the process of receiving some cancellation and evidence is emerging of the performance of the initiative. There is a pressing need for analysis of the effectiveness of the initiative and the need for further cancellation. The Committee's interest will therefore be extremely valuable.

  For your information, Drop the Debt is the short-term successor to the Jubilee 2000 campaign, leading the international effort to secure a New Deal on Debt by the time of the Genoa G8 Summit in July 2001. We are strongly supported by major organisations working in this area including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Cafod, the World Development Movement and Tearfund, and we are working closely with debt campaigns in Italy, the Untied States and around the world. As former Deputy Director of Jubilee 2000, I am leading Drop the Debt which will run through to September 2001.

  While writing, I would like to invite you to consider a fuller inquiry by the Committee on the prospects for a New Deal on Debt by the time of the Genoa Summit. Such a New Deal would almost certainly require deeper cancellation by the IMF and World Bank, using their own reserves, the quantity and availability of which are a matter of some debate. The Committee's attention to this in the coming months would certainly help shed some light on what may be possible. I would be happy to discuss this in more detail if that would be helpful.

17 January 2001

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