News Release

“Cancel Debt Fast”


The IMF and World Bank are beginning their Fall meetings in Washington, D.C., later this week.

Rev. Duncombe, a United Church of Christ minister from Washington State, will end a 40-day fast during a prayer breakfast on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Rev. Duncombe, who is 79, will be joined by several members of Congress who will break their own one-day fasts. This is part of a “Cancel Debt Fast” campaign organized by the Jubilee USA Network to address the ill effects of poor countries being forced to spend limited resources paying off past debt.

During his 40 days of fasting, Rev. Duncombe made 200 visits to Senators’ and Representatives’ Hill offices. He said today: “Most people who work on Capitol Hill never meet a starving person. I don’t think risking your life is a bad thing if there’s a good chance you can save someone else’s.”
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A member of the Zambian parliament currently visiting Washington, Lubinda said today: “We must break the yoke of the IMF and World Bank around the necks of the poor, who suffer under an unjust burden of unpayable debt. Together, we as parliamentarians around the globe must work towards responsible lending and responsible borrowing.”

National coordinator of the Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 80 faith-based, human rights, and development groups, Watkins said today: “Even after the debt relief provided to date, the world’s impoverished nations still spend $100 million a day to service unjust debts.

“We welcome legislation just introduced in the Senate, which would expand the promise of debt cancellation to more countries that need it to fight poverty. The bill also gets at some of the problems with the current World Bank and IMF debt relief initiative by cutting out economic policy conditions which hurt the poor and by taking action against unscrupulous vulture funds.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.