The Canadian Prime Minister has announced that the G-7 countries will cancel all their bilateral debt with Haiti encouraging other nations like Venezuela and Taiwan to do the same. “Some $1.2bn (£800m) of Haiti’s debts to countries and international lending bodies has already been cancelled. ‘We are committed in the G7 to the forgiveness of debt, in fact all bilateral debt has been forgiven by G7 countries vis-a-vis Haiti,’ Mr Flaherty said at the end of the two day gathering of finance ministers in the Arctic town. ‘The debt to multilateral institutions should be forgiven, and we will work with these institutions and other partners to make this happen as soon as possible,’ he added. At least one million people are in need of aid in Haiti after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck in mid-January, killing more than 200,000 people. The G7 group – which includes Canada, the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – has been under pressure to help Haiti recover since the 12 January quake by cancelling the money owed by Haiti. Haiti was rated as the poorest nation in the western hemisphere even before the earthquake struck. Though exact figures are difficult to obtain, the exact amount owed bilaterally to G7 countries is believed to be quite small. Venezuela and Taiwan are Haiti’s other biggest bilateral creditors.”
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