By Julia Dowling
The Vultures have struck again!
Their latest prey: Liberia, a country that ranks in the bottom 15 for basic living standards. With life expectancy at a shocking average of 45 years, the country's democratic government has been making concerted efforts to address the legacy of the civil war and crushing poverty.
This morally reprehensible news is even more shocking in the context of Liberia’s recent victory in April, when the country reached an agreement canceling $1.2 billion of its commercial debt. This past weekend, while Americans enjoyed their turkey and mashed potatoes, Liberia had little to be thankful for when news hit that two Vulture Funds were awarded $20 million from a 30 year old loan and that was originally only worth $6 million. The UK Court’s settlement of $20 million represents all of Liberia’s 2008/2009 education budget and 150% of the funds allocated for health expenditures. In total, 25% of Liberia’s poverty reduction spending will go to two Vultures located in tax havens.
The media coverage of this upsetting news includes stories from the BBC, The UK Independent, The UK Guardian, and Bloomberg. It is clear that urgent action is needed! To learn more go to our Stop the Vulture Culture Campaign site, and make sure to visit our Take Action Page to ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Stop VULTURE Funds Act, H.R.2932. We need to protect poor countries from paying hedge funds the money needed to fight poverty. Pass the Stop VULTURE Funds Act to stop this behavior once and for all.