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WE SHOULD FORGIVE DEBT OF WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS

It's a large and varied world we live in. We will soon be living in the next millennium. What will life be like? At present there are approximately 41 heavily indebted poor countries in the world that are carrying debts they can never hope to repay. Rising compound interest over the years has made wiping out this debt impossible.

Meanwhile, valiant efforts to repay what is owed have gravely lowered the standard of living in these nations. In 1996, Uganda, Africa, spent $3 per person on health care while spending $17 on repaying the debt. Yet one in every five children in Uganda dies from a preventable disease before the age of 5.

Relieving the debt burden of the world's poorest countries is one of the economic, humanitarian and moral challenges of our times. American leadership is critical. We have shown that we can use force, now we need to show we can also use compassion. There is a bill in Congress, HR 1095, co-sponsored by Rep. John LaFalce. It is a step in the right direction. Write or call him in support of it. Letters count!

SISTER MARIE DAVIS

Buffalo

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