By Nate Fishman and monét cooper
When Donegal receives its $15 million, these are the people they're taking money from... Act now, you have the power to help stop this from happening again!
This month Jubilee USA Network and partners are expressing our disgust with the corporations known as "vulture funds." These corporations buy the debts of impoverished countries cheaply and then sue the country for the full amount plus interest and costs. The most recent case is that of Donegal International v. Zambia in the UK. Tuesday, April 24, the UK Royal Court of Justice announced that Zambia will be forced to pay Donegal Corporation, whose owner lives in the Washington D.C. area, $15 million plus interest and court fees. This amounts to nearly half of the annual savings Zambia was granted when its IMF/WB debt was largely cancelled as part of the progressive 2005 G8 agreement on international debt.
Vulture funds undermine the work of debt campaigners around the world as well as the work of the United States government and the international financial institutions to provide effective debt relief in the world's poorest countries.
Please take action today and to sign an e-mail petition calling for President George W. Bush to denounce vulture funds at the 2007 G8 meeting, which will convene in Germany from June 6 to 8. Be sure to add yourself to the monthly Jubilee action alert list and we’ll send you a message once a month on how you can make a difference by taking action on issues that ultimately eliminate global poverty.
Our Grassroots Coordinator Kristin Sundell was on Democracy Now! in February discussing the Zambia case and the first action we did around the issue of vulture funds.
She and Neil Watkins, our national coordinator, traveled to Zambia in January and February with a group of Jubilee USA’s partners to observe how the debt cancellation the country received in the 2005 G8 agreement was benefiting Zambians.
The report was less hopeful than expected.
The group saw firsthand the effects of harmful economic policy conditions Zambia was forced to comply with in order to receive debt cancellation. Indeed, high unemployment, the freezes on doctors' and nurses' salaries, and a languishing healthcare system have made the debt cancellation savings a lot less meaningful than they could have been.
Jubilee USA’s grassroots conference June 15 to 17 in Chicago offers activists like you the opportunity to learn more about the issue of vulture funds, how to mobilize around issues of global economic justice, and much more. Please visit the Roots Conference page for more info.