Somalia Leaders Call for Debt Cancellation

Washington DC - In Somalia, 60 percent of the 15 million person population lives in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations Development Programme almost 10 million people live in extreme poverty or close to poverty in Somalia while the war-torn African nation wrestles with a $4.6 billion debt. On Friday, Somalia's Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh will call for debt cancellation for humanitarian assistance.

"In the face of such terrible suffering, Somalia's debt must be eliminated as soon as possible," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who serves on United Nations debt expert groups. "Eliminating Somalia's debt means an immediate investment to reduce extreme poverty in the country."

Somalia owes more than $4.6 billion in debt. The United States, France, Italy, the IMF and World Bank hold the highest levels of Somalia debt.

"Humanitarian concerns and global political will are coming together to relieve Somalia's debt," stated LeCompte. "The situation is so extreme in Somalia and we need immediate debt relief."

On Friday morning Somalia's Finance Minister, Jubilee USA head - Eric LeCompte, the African Development Bank and Save Somali Women and Children will participate in the forum at the US Institute of Peace. American Friends Service Committee, the Somalia NGO Consortium, Somalia Working Group, Jubilee USA Network and the African Faith and Justice Network are sponsoring the event. 

To learn about or RSVP for the April 12th High-Level Forum on Debt Cancellation for Somalia visit here.