Tue, 07 Nov 2000

IMF's debt relief

I refer to the article IMF expects 20 nations to get debt relief in 2000 in The Jakarta Post on Nov. 2, 2000.

As much as the IMF's plan to waive interest payments on debt owed by a number of poor "Third World Countries" appears to be a positive step, it would be useful for the good of all, if those wealthy, industrialized countries who contribute to the IMF's funds undertake an exercise in self-examination, especially in regard to global warming to which they are also the chief contributors. What good shall be served if the schools and roads that, according to IMF spokesman Thomas Dawson will be constructed by the poor countries with the money saved from exemption of interest payments, are later washed away as the result of rising sea levels.

The construction of sea defenses, a monumental task in itself, will cost many billions of dollars. Do the countries that contribute to the IMF intend to foot the cost of this work? After all, it is they, who in the attainment of their wealth, contributed vastly to global warming and the consequent rise in the sea level in the first place.


Sanur, Bali