Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Debt relief could help tsunami disaster victims

Chain of debt

The BBC has a story on how debt relief could help countries in the disaster region in Asia rebuild their economy (duh). An excerpt:

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown wants the world's richest nations to freeze foreign debt repayments for countries hit by the Asian tsunami disaster.

The move would allow countries such as Thailand, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka to focus money on reconstruction.

Mr Brown said that "we're talking initially about $3bn (£1.58bn) in debt repayments each year by the most affected countries".

The figures for these countries are just astounding:

Indonesia $132.2bn
India $104.4bn
Thailand $59.2bn
Malaysia $48.6bn
Sri Lanka $9.6bn
Somalia $2.7bn
Seychelles $560m
Maldives $270m

Especially when compared to % of national annual income:

Indonesia 80%
India 21%
Thailand 48%
Sri Lanka 59%
Maldives 45%

The worst part is that most of these debts were incurred by dictators in times past to finance their greed. If there is to be fair world trade this problem has to be dealt with.


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