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Reps. Waters, Leach, Frank, Bachus and Maloney Commend President Bush for Agreement to Cancel Poor Country Debts

July 30, 2009
Press Release

Today on Capitol Hill, Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), James A. Leach (R-IA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to President Bush to commend him on the negotiation of the G-8 Finance Ministers' agreement to cancel poor country debts. The text of the letter follows:

We commend you and the G-8 Finance Ministers for your agreement to cancel poor country debts. This bold agreement goes beyond previous debt reduction and debt rescheduling plans to cancel completely the debts that burden poor countries.

We are pleased that the G-8 Finance Ministers' agreement will eliminate immediately more than $40 billion in outstanding debts owed by 18 of the world's poorest countries and free them from the burden of approximately $1.5 billion in annual debt service payments to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Debt cancellation will allow these 18 countries to reduce poverty and improve health and education for their people.

We also are pleased that the G-8 Finance Ministers' agreement includes a plan to finance debt cancellation for additional poor countries that are pursuing economic and governance reforms. We sincerely hope that complete debt cancellation will be extended quickly to all needy and deserving poor countries so that their people will likewise be freed from the tremendous burden of multilateral debts.

We will monitor closely the implementation of this historic agreement, and we look forward to working with you to make the cancellation of debts a reality for millions of people in the world's poorest countries.