Last week, at the very same time the U.S. started sending money and supplies to tsunami-struck regions, it also cancelled $72.6m of loans to Ethiopia.
The Ethiopia News Agency reports:
U.S. writes off 628m Brr. debt Ethiopia owes itThe U.S. had already cancelled another $29.2m debt owed by Ethiopia in January 2003.
(Addis Ababa, 12/30/2004)
The Governments of Ethiopia and the U.S. on Thursday signed an agreement providing for the cancellation of 628 million Birr. [$72.6 million]
The U.S. has provided the debt cancellation to enable Ethiopia to use the amounts that otherwise would have gone into debt redemption in the on-going implementation of poverty reduction program.
The U.S. Government has written off 100 percent of the debt Ethiopia owed to it, surpassing that agreement Ethiopia signed with Paris Club creditors for 90 percent of debt cancellations.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that President Bush has personally donated $10,000 of his own money to various relief organizations helping tsunami victims. Sure, it's not a whole lot for a multimillionaire like him, but I haven't heard of any other world leaders stepping up with their own cash.
And private U.S. donations for tsunami relief have surpassed $430 million.