President Bush recently made a historic trip to Africa to review the progress of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) and other administration-sponsored development programs in the region. He observed increased investment in health care and education made possible y MDRI debt cancellation.
Expanded debt cancellation is an essential element of any real, long-term development progress in Africa. The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation, currently under consideration by both houses of Congress, would expand debt cancellation beyond the 23 countries that have benefited from the MDRI, and would help put an end to the kind of irresponsible lending that caused crippling debt burdens in the past.
In Tanzania, debt relief led to a 50 percent increase in primary school enrollment. In Ghana, funds were freed to rehabilitate the transportation infrastructure and to support education and health initiatives.
Debt cancellation has made an enormous impact already. Expanded debt cancellation could help many more impoverished countries.
I strongly believe that debt cancellation will help to free the nations of the world from crippling poverty and I have supported this through my membership in the Jubilee U.S.A. Network as well as lobbying my representatives and senators.