Business Week says this:
"Paris Club members agreed in July to cancel their claims on Haiti, totaling $214 million, though some countries have yet to finalize the process. The Paris Club is an informal group of creditor governments from industrialized countries, and those who were owed money by Haiti are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the U.S."
So that Haiti isn’t burdened with repaying their debt which started nearly 200 years ago, plus trying to rebuild from this terrible earthquake, here is a petition to try to help them: http://www.thehungersite.com/clickToGive/campaign.faces?siteId=1&campaign=NoHaitiDebt&ThirdPartyClicks=ETE_012110_NoHaitiDebt_m
As the country is already $1.9 BILLION in debt, they are going to need any funds they have available for rebuilding, and to do it right, not just shoddy makeshift dwellings.
“Earthquake aside, such a prominent call for debt relief for the Caribbean nation is overdue. Haiti is a very poor country. It is also a very indebted one, part of a legacy extending back to the 1820s. Then, France required the former slave colony to pay something like $20 billion in today's dollars for its freedom. The country has struggled ever since, with former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier raiding the country's accounts and amplifying what it owes.
The debt hurts Haiti, horribly. As of last year, Haiti was paying $50 million a year just to service its debt, not even to pay down the principal. It owed hundreds of millions -- more than a quarter of its GDP. “
How Companies Can Truly Help in Haiti
Philanthropy expert Timothy Ogden says the best advice for corporate givers is:
"Don't just do something, stand there." Allow him to explain:That sounds contradictory, but here is the article:
“100% of site advertising goes to our charitable partners.”
“Haiti has suffered from the slings and arrows of outrageous debt to the West since its creation. Haiti, the first black republic in the West, was not always the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. It was once one of the the richest colonies of the Caribbean. After defeating Napoleon's forces in a slave rebellion, Haiti declared itself a nation on Jan. 1, 1804. The victory was short lived however. By 1825, Haiti was forced under threat of invasion and exclusion from international commerce to pay France, it's former colonial master, $21 billion to compensate French slave-holders for their loss of "property." It took Haiti 120 years to repay that disgraceful loan.
The United States also played a part in Haiti's economic tragedy. Thomas Jefferson, an enthusiastic slave owner, feared that Haiti's success in the hemisphere would give millions of black slaves in the southern states dangerous ideas about freedom and human rights. Congress soon passed a law prohibiting all trade with Haiti, signed by Jefferson at the turn of the 19th century, furthering that country's isolation. Between the shattering debt to France and the trade isolation, the new republic hardly stood a chance. America also occupied Haiti from 1915 until 1934, then supported a series of dictators until 1990.
Debt relief may prove to be a more earth-shattering than the earthquake, but it is the right thing to do.” From:http://airamerica.com/news/01-19-2010/no-more-debt/
Now, we will see if the countries that pledged to release Haiti’s debt, follow through.
Now, you know me, I am going to be equally concerned about the poor animals in Haiti. Please help them, too, even if it just by clicking http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3&ThirdPartyClicks=ERA_090309_ARS E V E R Y day.