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Third World Debt

What is Third World Debt? It’s when poor countries like Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia owe rich countries like the UK, Europe and the USA money lent to them for development, food and infrastructure.

Of course, it’s nice to lend to others less fortunate than ourselves, and even nicer of us to allow those countries who have received all this money to freeze their repayments, the whole thing is getting out of hand. Because some of the countries we’re lending to are just not poor any more.

The UK gives huge amounts of money to India, for instance, which is a wealthy country, with a vibrant economy, a growing middle class who are great consumers – and it has its own nuclear weapons and a space programme. So some people ask, why are we lending to India? Surely it is not considered a Third World country any more?

Around £2.4 billion is owed to the UK alone by 24 nations. That means that £825m a year is owed just in interest - interest which will never be paid.

The question of Third World Debt is high up on the UK Government’s agenda at the moment. Because of the recession here, some people are complaining that we shouldn’t be worrying about people half a continent away, while we are struggling in our own country. Many people think WE should be looking after our own old and vulnerable citizens, some of whom will find it difficult or not be able to keep themselves warm this winter.

OINK! will keep an eye on this topic and we’ll update as things develop!


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