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Old 07-01-2002, 06:28 PM   #1
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OMG! O'Neill wrote me back!

LMK if you all would like to hear some of the BS...uh, what his office had to say.

SD
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Old 07-01-2002, 06:43 PM   #2
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Re: OMG! O'Neill wrote me back!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
LMK if you all would like to hear some of the BS...uh, what his office had to say.

SD
Yes please just post it
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Old 07-01-2002, 06:46 PM   #3
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Its prolly something along the lines of:


Thank for showing your support and interest in the Africa Crisis. Mr O'Neill is to busy to reply to you but he thanks you for keeping him informed.


Im I even close, Sherry!
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Old 07-01-2002, 07:17 PM   #4
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Okay, here it is

Not trying to be a tease...LOL (like Bono would). It's a two page letter so I didn' want to type all that if ppl weren't that interested. Stilll have homework to do tonight (I'm in LOVE with being a full time student again!)

Anyway...editing a bit for length

The admin. supports debt relief for the HIPCs that have demonstrated a commitment to economic growth and poverty reduction. As of the end of 2001, 24 countries had reached their decision points under the enhanced HIPC initative. Countries begin receiving debt relief at decision point. Creditors have committed to reduce the debt of these countries by about $36 bill under the HIPC program, which will reduce the debt stock of these countries by almost half on the average. If debt reductin from previous traditional mechanisims is included, overall debt reductino for these countries amounts to about 2/3rds. A rough estimate of totaly debt service for teh 24 HIPCs over the next five year is more than $1 bill each year.

Congress appropriated an additional $224 mill to the HIPC initiative for Fiscal Year 2002. This will allow the US the complete its commitment to contribute a total of $600 mill to the HIPC Trust Fund, which helps regional development banks, such as the African Development Bank Group, fund their share of the costs of HIPC debt reduction. The US has also committed to forgive 100% of our bilateral claims, pre-dating the June 20, 1999 announcement at the Cologne Summit, for countries qualifying HIPC debt reduction.

Some have suggested that the enhanced HIPC initiative be expanded even further to required 100% debt reduction by the IFI. This would increase the costs of the HIPC program substantially. the current HIPC initiave is only partially implemented, and is not yet fully financed. We believe that we should concentrate on achieving full funding and implementing the current initiative in an effective manner.

At this point, we also must focus on making sure the savings from debt relief are invested in ways that generate econ. growth and reduce poverty. We believe that strategies by the debtor countires are key to the success of the enhanced HIPC initiative. National authorities are preparing the strategies with broad participation by civil society and in close collaboration with all donors, particualy the World Bank and the IMF.

(Thanks me for my concern, yada yada)


What do you all think? I'm pretty dissapointed with how vague it is, and while no political scientist or economist, I think even I can see flaws in the arguement here. For example, if it's not yet fully financed, let's freakin finance it already! *sigh* Anyway, there it is. I'd love it if any Interferencers knowledgable in this field would let me know what you think.

I'm thinking about putting it on my site, but it's private mail. I think that's wrong, it's gotta be...but it would be interesting.

All typos mine.

SD
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:23 PM   #5
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My problem is that I don't really have a head for hard-core economics--or anything that has to do with numbers. I can understand the insanity of the debt situation because basically it's not complicated--you know, dirt-poor countries paying millions in debt payments and the insanity of that. Get into the more theoretical stuff and you understand why they wanted a celebrity to promote this stuff. I just don't get some of this stuff....it gets to be all Greek to me at a certain level. Of course it's vague but economics was always vague when I had to study the stuff in school (I was a history major and actually economics is a big part of history.....that didn't make me smart in it). It's been called the "dreary science". As a pure topic sometimes it is.
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:28 PM   #6
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me too verte...

thank you sherry for posting that. i'll be interested in knowing if anyone else gets a carbon copy of that letter, as well.
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Old 07-02-2002, 01:18 AM   #7
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I've not received anything form O'Neill's office altho I have recieved responses from Rep. Harman ( House Dem-CA in my district).

I think the response is pretty vague too Sherry.

Not that I'm a huge fan of nework news, but did anyone see ABC Nightly news tonight?

I just sat there with tears in my eyes watching those Africans in Malawi eating dirt because it makes their "stomachs feel more full".

Gee, I wonder if O'Neill saw that???

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Old 07-02-2002, 06:56 AM   #8
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Sherry O'neill was pretty vague, however there is still some hope


I figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread.

Quote:
O'Neill Vows More U.S. Foreign Aid
Mon Jul 1, 4:04 PM ET

By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer


The United States will boost aid to the world's poor countries as long as
those funds bring concrete results, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told a
United Nations gathering Monday.

Instead of funding vague "sympathetic themes," the United States will demand
measured improvements in specific areas, especially clean drinking water,
primary education and AIDS prevention.

"In the past, too much aid has been scattered into the winds of lawlessness,
corruption and unaccountability," O'Neill said at the opening of a meeting
of the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council. "For 50 years we have accepted
and expected too little from development aid."

In March, President Bushannounced the United States would increase its
assistance to developing countries by 50 percent over the next three years,
resulting in a $5 billion increase by 2006.

O'Neill said the aid initiative would be given to "countries that govern
justly, invest in people and encourage economic freedom."

The United States is developing benchmarks to measure progress in these
areas, O'Neill told reporters after his address.

"We want to measure the number of 10-year-olds that can read, write and
compute," O'Neill said. "We think the way to accomplish that is by being
much more specific than in the past."

He did not specify whether countries whose results didn't meet U.S. goals
would be cut off.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the worst effects of the current
worldwide economic slump were found among poor countries' economies, and
that primary education was key to resuscitating those economies.

"Countries committed to universal education have been far more successful in
combating poverty," Annan said. Education raises productivity, reduces
infant mortality, improves nutrition and health, helps prevent AIDS and has
a "positive impact on good governance and on conflict prevention and
peace-building," Annan said.

The United States, long chided by other rich countries for providing the
smallest per-capita share of its national wealth to the developing world, is
in the process of increasing funding for HIV and AIDS prevention efforts.

President Bush announced in March that the United States would pledge $500
million to U.N. AIDS efforts, and a further $600 million to other
international AIDS-fighting initiatives.

The Bush administration also pledged $200 million to train 420,000 teachers,
provide 250,000 scholarships for girls and supply 4.5 million textbooks to
African children, O'Neill said.

"The goal is not more teachers or more scholarships or more books," O'Neill
said. "The goal is children with full functional ability to read, write and
compute by age 10."

Referring often to his recent travels in Africa with Bono, the U2 singer and
activist, O'Neill said a new U.S. priority was on clean water, education and
reducing the spread of AIDS in Africa.

With an estimated 300 million sub-Saharan Africans without clean drinking
water, O'Neill called for development of low-cost wells for rural
communities, citing a project in West Africa that brings clean water and
basic sanitation for $17 per person, per year.

The Bush administration and international donors "all want to see faster
progress and more real results," O'Neill said to reporters after his
address.

Ultimately, the treasury secretary said, "the purpose of aid is to speed the
transition to economic independence."

Last Thursday, the Group of Eight rich countries endorsed a similar plan,
the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which offers billions of
dollars in new aid to those nations that better themselves.



This is a step foward, I can see O'Neill's frustration of past aid being wasted, maybe now with a structured plan of development and relief some change can occur. I think it shows that the trip was not for nothing, however I think the US could do better in terms of giving aid and relieving debt.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:05 AM   #9
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I guess this axes my request for a t-shirt!!!
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by oktobergirl


Not that I'm a huge fan of nework news, but did anyone see ABC Nightly news tonight?

I just sat there with tears in my eyes watching those Africans in Malawi eating dirt because it makes their "stomachs feel more full".

omg, yes, I saw that too. And it made me want to cry. That image stuck with me all night long.
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Old 07-02-2002, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by daisybean
Sherry O'neill was pretty vague, however there is still some hope


I figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread.





This is a step foward, I can see O'Neill's frustration of past aid being wasted, maybe now with a structured plan of development and relief some change can occur. I think it shows that the trip was not for nothing, however I think the US could do better in terms of giving aid and relieving debt.

Oh, absolutely. There'd be nothing worse than having people starving and dying of AIDS in Malawi and other countries and the money that's supposed to help them going to help some dunderhead shoot his way into power. That sort of thing has happened, it's worthwhile to prevent it. No, it's not enough. But I think it's clear that the Government is feeling some heat and as long as they are feeling heat they will have to address the issue. It's not going to go away. I didn't see that stuff from Malawi on the news, but I'm glad it's on the news. People will see it. If Joe Q Citizen gets mad enough that not enough is being done to help these people then the heat's really on. We're talking votes and elections.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:55 PM   #12
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Can I first just say, Verte, and Oktober and Olive, etc, what a blessing it is to have you all to talk about this with? It seriously is a weight on me and I think that's as it should be. I missed the news clip. Summer class just started, so I'm super busy. (And yet procrastinating....)

Anyway, I honestly do applaude O'Neill's insistance that the aid not be wasted. I mean, duh! How will that help? And he's right too that it has been. No one is arguing for that. But surely we can give MORE...an amount that will accomlish something...and moderate where it goes? Demand an accounting? We taxpayers get audited...audit them.

I thank him again for his focus on clean water. Useful, essential, practical, LETS DO IT! (And, sir, remember when they break we'll need to train ppl to fix 'em. )

I still don't get the refusal to wholesale cancel debt. Why on Earth would you lend someone ten bucks and take twenty? More to meantion that usury is forbidden in scripture and Bush claims to be Christian. (I hesitate to add that...hope I haven't offended anyone but I think it's true.) I think he is acting in good faith but I wonder if he's considered that.

Anyway, thanks ladies and gents. I'd still love to hear from some of the people here who've said they are ecom/poly sci majors or who work in these fields. Your input would be valued.

Cheryl
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm
i'll be interested in knowing if anyone else gets a carbon copy of that letter, as well.
I did. And I don't mind that it was a carbon copy letter, because the one I sent to him was a carbon copy of Cheryl's.

When it comes to writing government officials, it's all about quantity.
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:38 PM   #14
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I agree about debt relief. I don't understand why they're beating around the bush on that---oops, bad pun. Seriously, it's a no-brainer. I don't know why they just don't do it in the interest of common decency. I guess Washington is too damn cynical.
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Like O2


When it comes to writing government officials, it's all about quantity.
Heh heh. Amen. Let's flood him! Keep those ppl busy sending us carbon copies of letters and maybe he'll begin to see many Americans (and much of the rest of the world) is behind this.

Verte, you're on fire! I've gotten a bit depressed and frustrated in the past few days and your fervor picks me back up!

SD
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Old 07-03-2002, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling


Heh heh. Amen. Let's flood him! Keep those ppl busy sending us carbon copies of letters and maybe he'll begin to see many Americans (and much of the rest of the world) is behind this.

Verte, you're on fire! I've gotten a bit depressed and frustrated in the past few days and your fervor picks me back up!

SD

Well, the key is putting heat on the politicos and making them think about votes and elections........horrors! What if their constituents are mad as hell about their votes on debt relief if they're seeing those pictures from Malawi or whatever? That's what ended segregation in the South--my back yard. People were mad as hell, put heat on the politicos and they passed laws like the Voting Rights Act. I'm just glad they didn't give up when Dr. King got busted for protesting in my own home town (ouch, no one brags about that) and was writing those letters from the Birmingham City Jail. My parents were civil rights movement sympathizers and I learned my politics from them. I grew up in a very conservative "lily-white" neighborhood and we were the nuts on the block. So this stuff is in my blood. Hey, we raised hell and beat City Hall! I'm never satisfied with the status quo.
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