Pakistan: not only drowning in floods, but in a 49 billion dollar debt that is expected to rise due to international loan plans.
The Columban mission began in Pakistan in 1979 and ever since Columbans have been ardently working to combat a 50% illiteracy rate, vastly deficient health care structure, and an entrenched cycle of poverty. Currently, Columban Fr. Robert McCulloch and eight other Columban priests and lay missionaries are working in the Hyderabad, Pakistan region helping those affected by the floods. However, as the flood waters continue to rage, 1500 people have lost their lives and 20 million people have lost their homes and livelihoods.
With a third of the country under water, Pakistan needs billions of dollars to begin the long road to recovery, and yet the international community has been slow to respond. All the while, Pakistan already pays $3 billion a year in debt service, carrying a foreign debt totaling $54 billion. Presently, Pakistan risks a new debt crisis in the face of the worst natural disaster in its history. That is, unless we take action now.
Join the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach and Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations, human rights groups, and development agencies, in raising concern over the World Bank and Asian Development Bank’s recent announcements to provide Pakistan with a $900 million and $2 billion loan, respectively. Help Pakistan recover without new debt.
Please sign our petition calling for a freeze on Pakistan’s debt payments and an increase in grant assistance. http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=i5xAHGB9%2BC1VpKIGftSX91pQLJqJCoL5
Michelle Melcher Knight, MSW