Under this programme EJN will continue the spirit of the Jubilee in fighting for cancellation of foreign debts and also for odious and illegitimate debt. In the coming three years we will build a strong campaign and profile on extractive industries, ecological debt and climate change advocacy.
Huge debt burdens can in themselves contribute to climate change and wider environmental destruction. The requirement to pay out huge amounts in “hard” foreign currencies to service debts encourages the depletion of natural resources. To earn the necessary “hard” currency, poor countries have to increase exports of cash crops like timber or coffee, or of natural resources like oil and gas; sometimes intensification of these industries is even made a requirement of loans or debt relief from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The finance part of this programme will focus on the global financial crisis especially how it has exposed that the model of unbridled free markets, deregulation, and ever-increasing competition is risky and ill-conceived. The financial crisis has not only exposed the negative consequences of deregulating and liberalizing financial markets, but also of a model of export orientation, import dependence and trade as embodied in Free Trade Areas (FTA).
EJN will investigate the social impact of the financial crisis in the SADC region. We will analyze the nature and extent of these impacts. We will also further identify at micro-level the various groups affected by the crisis and assess the differential impacts on them. Recommendations from the research will give pointers on how to engage so as to mitigate the crisis on the poor and vulnerable people in SADC.