The Group of Twenty (G20) world leaders need to drop the debt owed by poorer countries to richer countries and banks at the G20 Summit in November.

Here’s what we’re doing to make sure they do ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers meeting on 13th November, and how you can help.

Take Action, Sign the Petition

Cancelling the debt is the quickest way to give poorer countries a cash injection that will allow them to fight the Covid crisis.

This counter shows the total amount paid back by the poorest 68 countries to rich countries and banks since the pandemic started…

 

Oxfam Campaigner Grace de Bláca tells us why it’s important that people take action. “During a global pandemic, governments should be spending money on PPE for doctors and nurses and ventilators to save lives. Instead, they’re paying back millions of dollars in debt to rich countries, banks and private institutions. The G20 Finance Ministers can cancel the debt, and this will allow people in poorer countries to access healthcare, which is a human right. We need to make sure that they receive this message, and that’s why we are asking people to stand with healthcare workers and make their voices heard by signing our petition.”

Take Action, Sign the Petition

Campaigners made their voice heard during October, despite Covid restrictions.

Thousands of people across the UK joined Oxfam and other organisations to demand the debt be cancelled. 500 people signed up for a virtual MP Lobby to demand the government drop debt and save lives, while other supporters showed their support with Cancel the Debt signs at home.

We went to the Treasury on behalf of the thousands who wrote letters, spoke to MPs virtually and signed our petition. The next day, we handed in the petition with over 850,000 signatures to the Treasury Director virtually.

Progress has been made, but it is not enough

The same week that we were out campaigning, the G20 Finance Ministers met and agreed to extend the eight month debt suspension for a further six months. This shows that they are listening, but it is the bare minimum. In April, the G20 Finance Ministers agreed to suspend debt collection on money owed by 77 of the poorest countries to rich governments for just eight months from 1 May until the end of 2020 -but suspending debt collection means that loans continue to build interest, and will likely lead to a future debt crisis. It also does not include debts owed to private banks and institutions and it left out many middle-income countries that desperately need support (including countries in Latin America that have recently been at the epicentre of the pandemic).

Suspension is not enough: the debt needs to be cancelled immediately – so that lower-income countries can fight the pandemic effectively, instead of paying back large investment funds or global institutions such as the World Bank.

Halting debt repayments is urgent to save millions of lives. We need your help!

 

Take Action, Sign the Petition
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