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Nicaragua´s foreign debt

Nicaragua is close to obtaining a condonation of its foreign debt by international organisations and countries with whom it is endebted to. Cuba, France and Austria are amongst the first ones to have taken that step. The pardoned amount goes up to 157 million dollars so far.

In september this year, Nicaragua´s foreign debt was 6,220 billion dollars, now it has been reduced to 6,063 billion dollars.

The above is due to the recognition of the tremendous impact of Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua´s social and economic life.

The whole country has united to claim for the condonation of the foreign debt. However, civil society organisations want to go further in claiming that it be changed for social development.

The proposal from civil society is that Nicaragua´s debt be reduced by 70% inmediately and that the Government redirects the amount it was to pay as debt services towards social protection and a sustained investment in peasants´ economy so as to be able to develop food production.

 

Map from La Prensa newspaper

Nicaragua needs emergency help but we can not confuse urgency measures with the needs for development programs. The food, medicines, etc donation from people´s solidarity and friendly governments will be over in few months.

Nicaragua´s reconstruction is urgent, groups from civil society argue, but it will be a mistake to bring it about within the same bases and the same economic policies because social exclusion would deepen.

If civil society´s proposal was taken it is estimated that:

  • 500 schools would be rehabilitated.
  • 1,500 kindergardens would be built.
  • 1,000 teachers from the Atlantic Coast would improved their training.
  • 34 to 70 percent increase rate for concluding primary school level.
  • 550 health centers and 30 hospitals would be rehabilitated.
  • 1.2 million people would improve their access to public basic health.
  • 30 to 50 percent increase in drinking water services which would benefit 600 thousand people in the rural area.

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