In June of 2006, world leaders stood with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and pledged their support for debt relief for impoverished African nations. The intent of their principled gesture was to help a select number of countries pull themselves out of the quagmire of debt which prevents them from building infrastructure, schools and hospitals. But, it was also a pragmatic gesture. Poverty breeds insecurity, and as President Bush noted in his State of the Union address, poverty alleviation must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy to create a secure world. For the most part, the world applauded the efforts of the G-8 leaders, and the slow process to full debt relief began. But in the shadows stands a financial creature that threatens the resolve of the G-8 on African debt relief and threatens
A vulture is a creature that lurks around waiting for another animal to be near death before it swoops in. The vulture is a cagey bird that hovers over the weak waiting for an opportunity to finish it off. Vulture funds are a group of financial institutions that buy African and Latin American debt from the lending country for a reduced amount and then press the struggling nations into courts as they demand payment of the full loan and interest several times the original value of the debt. This practice is crippling countries that welcomed international debt relief but are now facing the possibility of debt relief from the G-8 being meaningless. They will now have to pay the new owners of their loan.
In the African country of
The morally bankrupt actions of vulture funds render the commitments to debt relief made by the
Vulture funds are aptly named. They present a threat to the end of world hunger. They undermine