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AVAAZ's APPEAL - CANCEL HAITI's DEBT! Received 28.1.10



It's shocking: even as aid flows in to Haiti's desperate communities, money is flowing out to pay off the country's crushing debt -- over $1 billion in unfair debt racked up years ago by unscrupulous lenders and governments.


The call for full cancelation of Haiti's debt is building steam across the world, and has won over some leaders -- but other rich lender countries are rumoured to be resisting. And time is short: G7 finance ministers could reach a final decision next week at their summit in Canada.


Let's raise a massive global call for justice, mercy and common sense for the people of Haiti in this hour of tragedy. Avaaz and partners will deliver the call for debt relief directly to the summit -- click below to sign the petition, and then pass this email to friends:





Even before the earthquake, Haiti was one of the world's poorest countries. After Haitian slaves rose up and won their independence in 1804, France demanded billions in reparations -- launching a spiral of poverty and unjust debt that has lasted two centuries.


In recent years, the tremendous worldwide campaign for debt relief has awoken the world's conscience. And in the last few days, under mounting public pressure, lenders have begun to say the right things about erasing Haiti's still-devastating debt burden.


But the devil is in the details. After the 2004 tsunami, the IMF announced relief from debt payments for stricken countries -- but the underlying debt went right on growing. Once public attention had faded, the debt payments were bigger than ever.


It's time to cancel Haiti's debt fully and without conditions, and ensure that earthquake aid is made with grants, not loans. A victory now will change lives in Haiti even after the world's attention has moved on. Join the call for debt relief, and pass this message to those who feel the same:





As we watch the images on our televisions and computers, it's hard not to be overwhelmed. And the history of rich countries' relations with Haiti is dark indeed.


But moments like this one can bring transformation. Across the world, people have donated to save lives in Haiti -- indeed, Avaaz members have given more than $1 million in the last ten days. But we also need to raise our voices as global citizens, to address the man-made tragedies that left our brothers and sisters in Haiti so vulnerable to natural crises.


There is not enough that we can do. But let's all do everything we can.


With hope,


Ben, Alice, Iain, Ricken, Sam, Milena, Paula, and the whole Avaaz team




Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.


Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.


Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages! You can also follow Avaaz on Twitter!


link to Facebook: http://www.avaaz.org/en/haiti_cancel_the_debt_13/97.php


-- The Avaaz team








As Haitian families search for survivors and relief rolls in, Haiti is still staggering under $1 billion in old debts racked up by unscrupulous lenders and unelected governments of the past.


But in recent days, a worldwide outcry has grown to cancel Haiti's debt -- and while some key lenders are rumoured to be holding out, the IMF and some key governments have indicated that debt relief could be within reach.


More pressure is needed. The petition below will be delivered to the IMF and G7 finance ministers at their crucial meetings in coming days -- sign and spread the word:


Petition to Finance Ministers, IMF, World Bank, IADB, and bilateral creditors:


As Haiti rebuilds from this disaster, please work to secure the immediate cancellation of Haiti’s $1 billion debt and ensure that any emergency earthquake assistance is provided in the form of grants, not debt-incurring loans.


Sign the petition now!


274,673 have already signed the petition! Let's reach our new target of 300,000. This petition has been signed by citizens of more than 150 countries worldwide. The number of signatures includes 148,000 collected by Avaaz's partners at the ONE campaign.




The world has responded to the devastation of Haiti's earthquake with a huge outpouring of support. Avaaz is working with groups on the ground in Haiti to save lives, prepare for reconstruction -- and advocate for changes that will leave Haitians less vulnerable to future disasters.


But Avaaz's work on Haiti and other issues is only possible thanks to small contributions from citizens around the world. Avaaz accepts no money from governments or corporations. You can support Avaaz's work by making a donation with your credit card or making a donation from your paypal account & you can also donate by check, wire transfer, phone or mail.

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