Earthquake Prompts Haitian Debt Relief

The years-long effort by such organizations as the Jubilee USA Network and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to relieve Haiti of its $1 billion debt got a boost on Feb. 5, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that the United States would work to see that the impoverished Caribbean nation’s indebtedness was forgiven. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said on Jan. 20 that the I.M.F. would discuss with donors ways to “delete all the Haitian debt.” The actions are significant because Haiti must focus all of its financial resources toward recovery and rebuilding large segments of the country that were destroyed during the earthquake on Jan. 12.

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