Christian Aid has welcomed the UK Labour party’s announcement of plans for an Overseas Loan Transparency Act which will establish a new compulsory register of overseas loans.
The proposed new Act would require all lenders from the UK to disclose loans to foreign governments, and was announced today ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers meeting this weekend.
Christian Aid's Head of UK Advocacy Tom Viita said:
“There are now 31 countries in debt crisis, making this a global problem which needs international solutions from the G20, but the G20 must not be a group to hide behind.
“The vast majority of international loans in Africa are made under English law because it allows a cloak of secrecy over lending, so the buck stops with the UK Parliament to bring real transparency or continue to allow unjust debt to cripple developing countries.
“Labour’s welcome move piles yet more pressure on the UK Government to close these secrecy loopholes. We urge the Government to close the loopholes that allow secret loans and shut down the predatory vulture funds operating in the City of London.”
Labour’s move comes after Christian Aid last month called on the UK to step up and meet its moral responsibility to avert debt crises in developing countries that are often struggling to recover in the wake of humanitarian emergencies
In a Christian Aid report, The New Global Debt Crisis
– published in collaboration with the Jubilee Debt Campaign – the international development organisation urged the UK Government to end its complicity in exacerbating the already desperate situations faced by some of the world’s poorest countries.
The full Christian Aid debt report can be downloaded here: caid.org.uk/debt-report