Category: Odious Debts

How best to help Haiti

(March 31, 2010) All past international efforts to turn Haiti into a functioning democracy have failed. There are better ways forward.

Advertisements

Tackling corruption in Haiti is possible. Here’s how

(March 30, 2010) Haiti and its donors need to face up to bad governance and failed aid. They need to develop a strategy against corruption. This means more than controls and audits, more than training and technical assistance, needed though they are. We must ask how the design and implementation of Haiti’s reconstruction and development strategy might address what public administration experts Derick Brinkerhoff and Carmen Halpern called the sanctioned plunder that was and remains the core of Haitian politics.

HIPC debt relief is not the solution

(March 30, 2010) HIPC was a necessary evil we agree. We also recognize that it is a stop-gap measure that addresses the symptoms of our under-development, rather than the causes a half-hearted response to the ever-growing agitation for total debt cancellation that characterized the 1990s. But, even total debt cancellation will not solve our problems. At best, it will provide a temporary respite from the excruciating poverty we have known for decades now.

Foreign aid takes another blow–this time in Australia

(March 3, 2010) Criticism of the high salaries being offered to contractors working with AusAID, Austrialia’s national aid agency, is the latest example of the increased scrutiny facing aid agencies around the world. The criticism comes after a recent audit showed that a number of aid workers are earning more money than the country’s Prime Minister. And they’re doing so tax-free.

Ecuador’s Sovereign Default: A Pyrrhic Victory for Odious Debt?

(February 28, 2010) Ecuador’s strategic default on some of its external debt last year has drawn much commentary and generated passionate reactions. Some commentators who advocate creating a mechanism for addressing odious or illegitimate debt encouraged Ecuador to repudiate its obligations and have generally applauded its decision to do so. For those who are sympathetic to efforts to create such a mechanism, however, this enthusiasm may be misplaced.

Ecuador’s Sovereign Default: A Pyrrhic Victory for Odious Debt?

(February 28, 2010) Ecuador’s strategic default on some of its external debt last year has drawn much commentary and generated passionate reactions. Some commentators who advocate creating a mechanism for addressing odious or illegitimate debt encouraged Ecuador to repudiate its obligations and have generally applauded its decision to do so. For those who are sympathetic to efforts to create such a mechanism, however, this enthusiasm may be misplaced.

Chopsticks mercantilism: China’s involvement in Africa

(February 15, 2010) China’s engagement with Africa should be a boon. Its overall trade with Africa rose from $10.6 billion in 2000 to $75.5 billion in 2008, propelling Africa’s growth rate to 5.8% in 2008, its best performance since 1974. China is now Africa’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, importing a third of its crude oil from Africa…But China’s engagement is increasingly being seen as odious, predatory and brutish. The initial enthusiasm that greeted Chinese investments in Africa has now cooled.

Haiti heads for debt crisis as emergency loans pile up earthquake

(January 31, 2010) Anti-poverty campaigners warn emergency funds loaded to Haiti, at the height of crisis, will become a heavy debt burden for the quake devastated country. Already caught in a cycle of repayment for loans racked up by dictators from the western governments that kept the country’s looters in power, Haiti can’t afford its future in the present form of help.

The betrayal of Haiti

(January 22, 2010) Beyond the recent earthquake, there is another crisis at the heart of Haiti. Author Gerald Caplan calls the island state the perfect Carribbean example of a historic collusion between despots and Western donors, overseen by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to “enrich themselves at the expense of the people.”

To help Haiti, end foreign aid

(January 19, 2010) For Haiti, just about every conceivable aid scheme beyond immediate humanitarian relief will lead to more poverty, more corruption and less institutional capacity, says Bret Stephens, writing in the Wall Street Journal. After the immediate impact of the earthquake has passed, and the immediate relief efforts subside, “the arrival of the soldiers of do-goodness, each with his brilliant plan to save Haitians from themselves” will take root.

What was going on in Haiti prior to the earthquake?

(January 17, 2010) Between 45,000-50,000 may have died in the impoverished country of Haiti according to the American Red Cross as a result of the earthquake that shook Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas on January 12, 2010. A hospital collapses, the President’s palace is left in ruins, and many homes in shambles. Haitians bloodied from the devistation have walked away with tears in their eyes while others lay on the ground struggling to live or dead. This is what we see on the surface, but what is really going on behind the scenes of this catastrophe? What events were ongoing in Haiti prior to the earthquake?