Cancel the Debt


We are campaigning with Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and representatives around the world for total debt forgiveness and an emergency injection of finances to the Global South.

Covid-19 is a compound crisis. The virus has not only posed a major threat to our health and safety. It has also provoked a sudden depression across the global economy.

Countries in the Global South have been hit hardest by this compound crisis. At precisely the moment of their greatest need for medical resources, capital is flowing rapidly out of their economies. More than $100 billion has been evacuated from emerging markets in the course of the pandemic.

But international creditors are demanding that governments in the Global South pay their debts before they protect their own citizens. In total, $3.9 trillion in debt servicing payments is due in 2020 alone. This extraction of wealth is not only unjust to the countries of the Global South. It is a threat to public health and prosperity everywhere.

"Not only do we have a humanitarian duty to aid our petitioning countries in dire need, but we also have a common, vested interest to support comprehensive relief for effective recovery and resiliency."

That is why Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar (USA) are joining forces with PI Council members Yanis Varoufakis (Greece), Áurea Carolina (Brazil), and John McDonnell (UK) to demand that the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cancel all debt obligations during the pandemic and inject over $2.5 trillion in Special Drawing Rights to support public health investment.

Their letter to WBG President David Malpass and IMF President Kristalina Georgieva is an important first step in this campaign. But it is not enough. To win debt cancellation, we will need more than the signatures of sitting politicians; we will need an international movement for debt justice.

The Progressive International aims to help build this movement by developing a policy Blueprint for a progressive approach to debt and by bringing together activists from across the world to mobilize behind it.

If you would like to build this movement with us — or organize actions related to this campaign — join the Progressive International and write to [email protected] for more.

Photo: Nikolas Liepins

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In just a few months since launch, the Movement has published over 20 statements from our members, drawing crucial attention to uprisings in Serbia and Belarus and denouncing moves to curtail democracy in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala.

With over 40 member organizations from more than 25 countries — including trade unions, parties, alliances, and associations, collectively representing millions of people — the Movement is fast becoming a truly planetary front. This work is only possible thanks to you.

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Senator Sanders & Representative Omar: Cancel the Debt!


International Delegation Letter on Debt Forgiveness to the World Bank and the IMF
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