G8 cancel debts of 18 countries, more to follow

The eight richest countries in the world have decided to write-off the billions in debt owed to them by eighteen of the poorest countries in the world, with nine more countries being a candidate for the same treatment.

This is great news. Every year, the well-meaning citizens of the world donate money to relief aid, but their contributions unfortunately amount to little. When Bob Geldof organised Live Aid in 1985, the campaign managed to collect ca. 250 million US$. However, the 18 poor countries of today together pay 1 billion US$ a year in interest alone. However well-meaning and useful relief aid is, it is not helping countries to help themselves.

I do feel a little bit guilty though: when everybody was giving money to help the Tsunami victims, I decided to give money to the debt relief campaign. Unfortunately, I could not find an organisation to give money to, and forgot.

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