Third World Debt and Disaster Recovery

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  • by Anup Shah
  • This Page Created Wednesday, December 29, 2004

This print version has been auto-generated from http://www.globalissues.org/article/524/third-world-debt-and-disaster-recovery

Please note that the content of this article was written back in 1998 and 2000, and many of the links to other sites may not work. While this page is in the Natural Disasters section, it is simply bringing in content also available since 2000, on this site's Third World Debt1 section.

When poor countries face natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and fires, the cost of rebuilding becomes even more of an issue when they are already burderned with debt. Often poor countries have had to suffer with many lost lives and some aid while still paying millions a week back in the form of debt repayment.

Debt Relief and The Floods of Mozambique and Madagascar

The worst floods for 50 years and a devastating cyclone in the first three weeks of February, 2000 in Mozambique has been met with a slow response by the international community to provide much needed assistance and aid. As many as 300,000 were feared to have lost everything, while there were fears of more floods2.

The floods are also thought to have moved landmines from previously known minefield areas to areas that have already been cleared. Mozambique is one of the world's most heavily mined countries. To find out more about the terrible effects of landmines see this site's page on landmines3.

As with the effects from Hurricane Mitch, debt burdens once again have come to the fore. Even Mozambique's government has been urging a cancellation4 of the country's debts to help use those saved resources for rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure.

For more information, you can start at the coverage from Guardian5.

The UN also estimates that 600,000 people have been affected in Madagascar6, the world's fourth largest island. That is twice as many in Mozambique. Two cyclones tore through the island. One of them made its way on to Mozambique resulting in the damage that filled headlines. However, a second cyclone that hit Madagascar didn't get to Mozambique.

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Debt Relief and Hurricane Mitch

The devastation in Central America caused by one of the deadliest storms7 in over 200 years, Hurricane Mitch8, November 1998, has been terrible. A UN report estimates that the destruction caused will set back development in this region by 20 years. The cost of rebuilding after Hurricane Mitch has highlighted the problems9 of debt repayment10 and debt relief11 that these countries are still facing (a repayment of about $200 million a day from Honduras and Nicaragua12, two of the worst hit areas).

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Where next?

Online Sources:

(Note that listed here are only those hyperlinks to other articles from other web sites or elsewhere on this web site. Other sources such as journal, books and magazines, are mentioned above in the original text. Please also note that links to external sites are beyond my control. They might become unavailable temporarily or permanently since you read this, depending on the policies of those sites, which I cannot unfortunately do anything about.)

  1. Global Issues: “Third World Debt Undermines Development”, Last updated: Sunday, June 03, 2007, http://www.globalissues.org/issue/28/third-world-debt-undermines-development
  2. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/where_we_work/mozambique/floods/index.htm
  3. http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsTrade/LandMines.asp
  4. http://www.jubileeresearch.org/jubilee2000/news/mozamb030300.html
  5. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Mozambique/0,2759,181252,00.html
  6. http://www.wfp.org/al_mozam/news.htm#3
  7. http://www.oneworld.org/dispatches/mitch/
  8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/newsid_210000/210851.stm
  9. http://www.jubileeresearch.org/jubilee2000/news/hurricane0911.html
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_211000/211228.stm
  11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/special_report/1999/06/99/debt/newsid_364000/364860.stm
  12. http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/nov98/02.55_002.html

Author and Page Information

  • by Anup Shah
  • Created: Wednesday, December 29, 2004

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This print version has been auto-generated from http://www.globalissues.org/article/524/third-world-debt-and-disaster-recovery