|05-16-2003, 12:37 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2001
Local Time: 04:08 PM
Debt Relief Amendment Passes!
Way to GO Angels!__________________
Weakened Amendment for Debt Relief Only Amendment
to Pass Senate AIDS Bill Vote
Washington, DC (May 16) - In an exceptionally late night vote on the
Senate's legislation for global AIDS, last night Republican
Senators voted down every amendment offered to perfect the
legislation, except one: an amendment for deeper debt relief for
impoverished nations, especially those burdened by high levels of
The amendment championed by Senators Biden (D-DE) and Santorum (R-PA)
passed the Senate in a voice vote to be included as a part of the
final Senate AIDS bill. However, the language was considerably
weakened in a last minute deal with the White House in order to gain
support for its passage. The Senators agreed to change the amendment
to a recommendation for the White House to take action ("should") for
deeper debt relief, instead of a mandate for action ("shall").
"We applaud Senators Santorum and Biden for their courageous
leadership to fight for deeper debt relief for impoverished nations
impacted by AIDS," said Marie Clarke, Executive Director of
Jubilee USA Network. "However, the children and orphans of Africa
will still carry the debt on their backs, unless President Bush
responds to the Senate's request with strong action for debt
cancellation at the G8 meetings in Evian."
The problem of severe indebtedness hinders poor countries'
abilities to address their own health crises or provide basic
services for their people. The 14 countries identified by the
President in the AIDS initiative spent $9.1 billion in 2001 servicing
debt - many times than what is expected to be delivered to them for
the fight against AIDS.
Debt relief has proven to be one of the most important components on
an effective fight against HIV/AIDS. Almost every single country
that has qualified for debt relief so far, has used the savings for
their nation HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment plans.
"Literally hundreds of people from around the country have called
or faxed their Senators in support of this amendment in the last 24
hours alone. Without the support of average Americans this amendment
would not have passed," said Mara Vanderslice, Program Director
for Jubilee USA.
Jubilee USA Network is made up of 70 faith based, labor and citizen
activist organizations dedicated to lifting the burden of unpayable
and unjust debt from the world's poorest countries.
Santorum/Biden debt relief proposal will:
-- Nearly DOUBLE current debt relief for the world's poorest nations
by cutting an additional $1 Billion in both bilateral and
multilateral debt service annually
-- Add to the current criteria for "debt sustainability" by saying no
country that currently qualifies for HIPC debt relief should pay
more than 5% of its budget on debt service annually (10% if the
country has no health emergency)
-- Allow the poorest countries to redirect more of their scarce
revenues into increased spending on education, health and the crucial
fight against HIV/AIDS
Examples of how debt relief has been used for the fight against
-- Uganda, the first country to receive debt relief used $1.3 million
of its debt savings specifically for their national HIV/AIDS plan.
This investment played a key role in the government's success in
reducing HIV infection rates by 40%
-- Cameroon received a $114 million cut in debt service. With help
from debt savings, a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategic plan
was launched. The plan included promoting behavior change among young
people, making voluntary testing and counseling widely available and
preventing HIV transmission from pregnant women to their babies.
-- Malawi received a cut in debt service of 30%, or $28 million.
These funds financed the purchase of critical drugs for hospitals and
health centers, hiring extra staff and support in primary health
centers, and training new nurses.
|05-16-2003, 05:12 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: the middle
Local Time: 12:08 PM
Granted it's not the exact language Debt cancellation activists had hoped for it, but that can be remedied , lets hope in future amendments. Yay to all the interferencer's who helped out !
|05-16-2003, 10:03 PM||#3|
Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In a dimension known as the Twilight Zone...do de doo doo, do de doo doo...
Local Time: 03:08 PM
Some good news!
Way to go to all of you who did everything in your power to get this passed. It's proof that we CAN make a difference.
Bono would be proud.
And yay to the senators involved...smart move, guys.
|05-17-2003, 12:07 AM||#4|
Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Local Time: 01:08 PM
A B C
I heard the President on the radio.
He said something like " I am glad it passed, when I go to Europe for the G8 I will have something to show them, now."
|05-17-2003, 01:22 PM||#5|
Join Date: Sep 2001
Local Time: 04:08 PM
Here's the next step, all!
Dear Jubilee supporters,
Congratulations - you just helped us win a fantastic step forward with the
debt relief amendment to the Senate AIDS bill. The new AIDS bill as it
stands, with the debt relief provision, will be taken and reaffirmed by the
House on Tuesday and should go through with no problems.
The key is now to make sure that President Bush actually does something
about the Congressional mandate to negotiate for deeper debt relief. The
timing is perfect, as President Bush makes ready to go to the G8 meetings in
Evian, France in two weeks.
Let's start asking the the Administration how they are going to follow up on
this legislative mandate for debt cancellation.
==> START SENDING THE MESSAGE BY WRITING A LETTER TO YOUR NEWSPAPER
When you see coverage of the Senate AIDS vote come out tomorrow and the next
day, send in a letter to your paper encouraging the President to follow
Congress' advice and cancel the debt!
Make sure to let us know if your letter gets published! Contact Mara
Vanderslice at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-783-0129
For more tips on writing Letters to the Editor:
SAMPLE LETTER - ADAPT and PERSONALIZE
President Bush Should Heed US Senate?s Call for Debt Relief
Debt relief is a crucial part of the fight against global AIDS, as well as
global poverty. Currently, many of the poorest countries spend tremendous
resources on paying back foreign debts, instead of using them for public
health and basic infrastructure. As your article ------------ indicates, the
US Senate has affirmed the need for deeper debt relief the passage of a
provision to expand this relief, especially for countries suffering from
Debt relief has proven to work. [Enter ONE example from below:]
-- Uganda, the first country to receive debt relief used $1.3 million of its
debt savings specifically for their national HIV/AIDS plan. This investment
played a key role in the government?s success in reducing HIV infection
rates by 40%
-- Cameroon received a $114 million cut in debt service. With help from debt
savings, a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategic plan was launched. The
plan included promoting behavior change among young people, making voluntary
testing and counseling widely available and preventing HIV transmission from
pregnant women to their babies.
-- Malawi received a cut in debt service of 30%, or $28 million. These funds
financed the purchase of critical drugs for hospitals and health centers,
hiring extra staff and support in primary health centers, and training new
The legislation passed by the US Senate would double the amount of debt
relief available to these poorest nations. However, the relief has to be
negotiated at the international level by the Bush Administration.
President Bush has a great opportunity to push for deeper debt relief at the
upcoming G8 meetings in Evian, France. Without active leadership from Mr.
Bush, the children of Africa will continue to carry this massive debts on
their backs. We need to plug the debt drain so that our foreign aid efforts
might be the most effective possible.
Jubilee USA Network
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