Calling for debt justice
While overseas aid spending should be protected as an important form of wealth redistribution, we also need structural change to begin tackling the permanent crisis of public finances across the global south.
The international debt system has been described as a colonial debt trap or “debtor’s prison”, a system that massively favours rich countries and big banks.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the IMF used debt crises to enforce devastating austerity across much of Africa and Latin America through harsh “structural adjustment” programmes. Many countries still suffer from the cuts to public services enforced upon them to this day.
Today, however, big banks and financial corporations are the ones holding the global south to ransom. The amount that African governments owe to companies like BlackRock, HSBC and JP Morgan could vaccinate the entire population three times over. Global south governments also argue that debt is preventing them from investing in green technology and a just climate transition.
Debt justice is racial justice. Debt justice is health justice. Debt justice is climate justice. Join us in demanding an end to the colonial debt trap today.