The Covid-19 pandemic has brought sharp focus on the problem of Debt. For many decades, in many countries in the South, debt payments have taken a huge share of public resources and have been prioritized by governments over health, education, housing and other essential public services. Loans have also been used to impose policy conditionalities including tight austerity measures and privatization of essential services, the effects of which are just as bad if not even worse than the impacts of debt servicing. These are part of the major causes for deepening inequality, and why we are saddled with under-financed and highly inadequate essential public services such as healthcare systems and lack of universal social protection.
Further, the problem is not only about unsustainable debt but also about illegitimate debt. Many public debts were not actually used for the real benefit of people and many loan-financed projects have actually been harmful for communities and the environment. And yet these debts are paid using peoples' money.
We join other movements in demanding of governments, international financial institutions, public, and, private lenders:
● Immediate unconditional cancellation of debt service for all Southern countries for at least 4 years, with no penalties, fees and accrual of interest
● Immediate steps to be taken towards more comprehensive and lasting solutions to unsustainable and illegitimate debt as part of the transformation of the global economic and financial system towards a just, equitable, post carbon new social order.
We share in the vision of a Total and Unconditional Debt Cancellation and the End to Illegitimate Debt.
The Fight Inequality Alliance commits to join other movements renewing and re-invigorating the global debt movement, and make Debt one of our priority issues.