Debt Relief

Around the world, more than 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty. Approximately 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Part of the problem is that the world's poorest countries cannot afford to fully fund important social services like health care and education. And in many of those countries, debt is a big reason why.

The world's poorest countries pay more money each year in debt than they receive in official aid. And in many cases, debt payments dwarf spending on human needs. The year before the Ebola outbreak started, the West African nation of Guinea - where the epidemic began - spent more money on debt than on health care. The Caribbean island of Jamaica spends more money on debt than on health and education combined.

Many of these countries continue to struggle with debt burdens, particularly in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and in the context of external shocks like Typhoon Haiyan, the Ebola epidemic and more. And today, the debt crisis is spreading from the South to the North, where countries like Greece find themselves mired in debt.

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