The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) extends its condolences and solidarity to the People of Pakistan over the recent flooding in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions last July that left thousands of people dead and countless lives destroyed. Today, FDC joins Jubilee South - Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD) and other social movements of the world in a global action to call for debt cancellation and climate reparations for Pakistan.

The Philippines have suffered the same fate just September of last year. Due to the heaviest monsoon rains we have experienced for over decades brought by Typhoon Ketsana (local name “Ondoy”), we also suffered from flooded plains, inundated cities, lives and properties destroyed. What the people of the Philippines have endured are not that far from what the people of Pakistan are suffering right now.

We in the social movements believe that Pakistan and the Philippines are both victims of the recent changes in global weather patterns due to the intensification of the climate crisis. Furthermore, we assert that this climate crisis is, for the large part, caused by the carbon-intensive industrialization process of now rich nations of the “North”. Climate reparations should thus be made by these nations to impoverished Southern governments like Pakistan and the Philippines so it can adapt its economy and society to the new weather patterns.

It is on the same breadth that we are calling on the lenders of Pakistan, including foreign governments of the North and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), to cancel the debts they claim from Pakistan. We are currently working to unite social movements around the world to generate political pressure so that these governments and the international lending community will begin giving Pakistan the space it needs and deserves.

As of June 30, 2010, the Japanese government stands to be the largest bilateral lender of Pakistan, claiming from Pakistan a total of US$ 7.011 million. Among the multilateral banks, the Japan and US-controlled Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the largest – with claims of up to US$11.586 million. FDC is calling on Japan and the nations that control the ADB to immediately cancel debts claimed from Pakistan as part of the global effort to achieve climate justice.

With our solidarity for the peoples of Pakistan is our encouragement that it joins us in the global call for climate justice and reparations from the North. Our nations have long suffered the effects of a phenomenon that is mostly the fault of our former colonizers. Justice is long due for Pakistan, and we from the social movements will be struggling so we can collectively attain justice for Pakistan and the rest of the global South.

(Signed)
RIC REYES
President, Freedom from Debt Coalition

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