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Many poor people hit by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami will be unable to rebuild their lives unless rich nations today cancel a significant part of the debts owed by their countries, as well as freeze repayments on remaining debts. This warning came from the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) before the 'Paris Club' of official creditors meets in the French capital to discuss the huge debts owed to them by the countries affected by the Indian Ocean disaster.
The need for a long term approach
While meeting immediate needs such as food, clean water and healthcare are vital, we also need a longer term response to enable people to restore their livelihoods. All funding should be tailored to such an approach, allowing spending to take place over a longer timeframe.
Recommendation: People's needs must have priority over accountants need to meet a time deadline and 'close the books.'
Protection of basic rights
In the wake of disasters, people's basic rights are often ignored.
The devastation caused by the tsunami is far-reaching. There are clear immediate priorities and longer-term repercussions that need to be addressed as soon as possible. We call on donors not to repeat the mistakes of the past and to commit to a comprehensive package of aid, debt relief and trade concessions for the countries affected by the tsunami disaster.
1. Humanitarian aid: Governments should immediately pledge to fully fund the UN appeal for $997 million launched on 6th January. Every single pledge must be turned into real aid getting to people on the ground as fast as possible.