LETTER: Easing debt crisis

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is good news that Kenneth Clarke is sticking with the UK's good record on debt relief (report, 22 April). The proposals being thrashed out between the IMF, the World Bank and the G7 countries will at last - if they are fully implemented - go some way towards lifting the worst of the burden from the poorest countries.

The human cost of debt is enormous - already, for instance, Uganda spends 12 times as much on debt repayment as on healthcare. Throughout Africa, health and education budgets have been slashed, and infant mortality rates and malnutrition have gone up.

Surely, even in purely financial terms, a slight weakening of the IMF's financial base is a small price to pay to salvage several national economies.

Bill Linton

London, N13