- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- D.R. Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Guinea Bissau
- Ivory Coast
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Bank wealth before people's health
"Debt, corruption and tax evasion are part of why people die in West Africa," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, a religious development coalition. "The money was there to contain Ebola and save more people from preventable diseases."
Guinea, where the outbreak began, spent more on debt payments in 2012 than it spent on public health. Guinea spent $207 million on debt payments in 2013 and 2012.
The Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone lose an average of $1.4 billion each year to corruption, debt payments and tax evasion. New World Bank data indicates the countries spent over $80 million on debt payments in 2013, the year the outbreak began. According to the World Bank, the countries spent a total of $270 million on public health in 2012.
According to the Financial Times, the three countries owe the International Monetary Fund (IMF) nearly $480 million. Sierra Leone spent $2.3 million paying off debts since the IMF announced a debt relief plan in November and will spend nearly $2 million more before the end of the year. The three countries accrued much of their current debt burden during civil wars, dictatorships and one-party rule.
Developing countries lose nearly $1 trillion each year to illicit flows. From 2003 - 2012, Liberia lost more than $900 million annually on average, while Guinea lost more than $300 million.