Mozambique is currently paying $1.4 million every week to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and western governments. It is due to receive some debt cancellation in April 2000, but after this will still be expected to pay around $1.1 million each week in debt repayment - a reduction of just 15 per cent.
Bishop Mandlate of Mozambique said: "It is world wide knowledge now that Mozambique has and is still being hit by the worst flooding in the history of this country. There is no memory from the past of what is happening now. It looks like the sea has moved inland."
"More than ever before, we call on the international community to cancel our debt immediately so our country can concentrate on the reconstruction of lives and destroyed infrastructure. It is unthinkable that a country can continue to drain itself of so much needed resources to service the debt which we believe has been morally and financially paid back. It is immoral for the international community to continue receiving back those meagre resources. This is a cry of the dying people of Mozambique. Pray for us."
CAFOD urges the UK government to take a strong lead in winning total debt cancellation with other international creditors, the World Bank and the IMF.
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