KATHMANDU, 24 June 2015 – Civil society alliances around the world reiterated the call for the cancellation of Nepal’s entire debt, ahead of tomorrow’s International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction 2015.
“If governments, international financial institutions, international banks, and other lenders truly stand in solidarity with Nepal, they must immediately, totally, and unconditionally cancel the country’s debts,” said LidyNacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development. “The billions of dollars of debt claimed from Nepal would be much better put into use in the long and hard road to recovery.”
The call for total and unconditional debt cancellation for Nepal is supported by international, regional and national networks and organizations all around the world and led by LDC Watch and the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.
These organizations are alarmed by the World Bank’s statement on Tuesday that it has promised a loan of up to US$500 million for Nepal’s recovery.
"Our current external debt of around USD 3 billion is already unsustainable" said Prerna Bomzan, LDC Watch Advocacy Coordinator in Nepal. "This year alone, a debt servicing amount of USD 373 million is due which could be redirected towards recovery and reconstruction. Nepal must demand for full cancellation of debt maintaining consistency with the LDC Group's call regionally and globally".
Nepal’s planning commission has released a report showing at least $6.6 billion is required for the country’s recovery.
“Loans for relief and recovery will only put Nepal deeper into debt", said Dr. SarbaKhadka of Rural Reconstruction Nepal, an APMDD and LDC Watch member organization, which endorsed the alliance’s statement.
The alliance’s other Nepalese member organizations signed the statement along with international and national movements and organizations, including Jubilee USA Network, European Network on Debt and Development, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Christian Aid UK, Oxfam, Jubileo Sur Americas, NGO Forum on ADB, Bretton Woods Project and the Third World Network.
The Finance Committee of the parliament of Nepal has responded positively to the call. Yesterday it passed a directive asking the Nepal government to propose debt cancellation at the reconstruction conference tomorrow, June 25, in Kathmandu.
About 9,000 people have died and an estimated eight million people have been affected by the first, magnitude-7.8 earthquake which hit Nepal last April 25. A magnitude-7.3 aftershock followed on May 12.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
LDC Watch is a global alliance of national, regional and international civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and movements based in the Least Developed Countries and supported by civil society from development partner countries. It is a member network of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).
APMDD, formerly the Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organisations, coalitions, and CSOs.
The full statement calling for Nepal’s debt cancellation can be accessed here or at http://www.apmdd.org/our-programs/global-and-public-finance/statements/288-total-and-unconditional-debt-cancellation-for-nepal <PLEASE SEND FINAL VERSION WITH UPDATED SIGNATORIES SO WE CAN UPDATE IT ON OUR WEBSITE>
The latest debt report of the Nepali government can be accessed at http://www.fcgo.gov.np/wp-content/uploads/Quarterly-Debt-Position_3rd_quarter_2071-72.pdf