Tell Sunak and Truss: Zambia needs debt justice

Join us in calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary to support debt cancellation for Zambia.

In 2020, Zambia became the first African country during the pandemic to announce that it can't make the debt repayments that big banks are refusing to delay or renegotiate. 

These banks, including BlackRock, HSBC, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan and others, will receive almost 60% of Zambia's debt between 2021 and 2024. If paid back in full, they could be making up to 250% profit.

Instead of fuelling big banks' profits, Zambia could be using these funds to support climate adaptation and boost their public healthcare systems during the ongoing pandemic.

The heads of the UN, IMF, World Bank, and even the Pope has said that the banks must do more to ease the debt crisis in the global south.

Join us in calling on Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to ensure debt justice for Zambia. 

There are many reasons why debt cancellation is important and just for Zambia:

Climate:

Research from Jubilee Debt Campaign last year found that Zambia is spending roughly three times what it spends on climate adaptation on repaying these banks every year. You can read our latest blog or joint report with Jubilee on why debt cancellation is vital for climate justice for more info.

Health

At the start of the pandemic, Zambia's debt repayments cost four times its annual healthcare budget. And while Zambia has been heavily reliant on COVAX donations to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, big banks have raked in three times the amount it would cost to vaccinate the entire African continent.  It is completely immoral that banks have continued to receive these repayments while governments have desperately needed to invest in healthcare and Covid-19 medicines for their people.

Scotland

Zambia is an international development partner of the Scottish government and receives a small amount of aid each year. However, we found that Zambia spends 75 times the amount it receives in aid from the Scottish government on debt repayments alone.

Photos: HM Treasury/Number 10/Flickr

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