Third World Debt

Many developing countries and billions of people are devastated under the burden of debt and trade policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO). In 1997, Zambia spent 40% of its total budget to repay foreign debt, and only 7% for basic services like vaccines for children. If debt had been canceled in 1997 for twenty of the poorest countries, the money released for basic health care could have saved the lives of about 21 million children by the year 2000, the equivalent of 19,000 children a day. The failure to cancel debts leaves the poorest countries in the world with nothing to spend on basic needs and much needed infrastructure, leaving millions in poverty and destitution.