We are calling for the British Government to oppose any further World Bank loans, underwritten by British taxpayers, to Argentina. Our new campaign includes an e-petition on the UK Government's official website and we have published new research looking at the scale of the funding. British taxpayers' money is supporting loans to Argentina on a substantial scale, over £225 million. This is despite recent attacks from the Argentinian government on British interests, including advocating a boycott of British goods, and disputing the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Moreover as a middle-income country, Argentina has no pressing humanitarian need for aid.
We have also released a video to highlight the petition and to explain how British taxpayers support Word Bank loans to Argentina. You can watch the video here or at the top of this post.
The text of the petition is as follows:
Stop British taxpayers’ money supporting World Bank loans to Argentina
Responsible department: Department for International Development
Despite repeated attacks on Britain and the right of Falkland Islanders to remain British, Argentina receives substantial loans from the World Bank, an organisation in which Britain is a major shareholder. But the Government does not use our votes to oppose those loans.
The Government has told Parliament that, as of March 2012, total outstanding loans to Argentina from the World Bank were $16.2 billion. That means Britain’s share of the outstanding loans is over £200 million, based on our shareholding in the two World Bank institutions lending to the country.
The Obama Administration in the United States has already announced a policy of voting no to any new loans thanks to Argentina’s failure to respect its obligations to earlier lenders. We call upon the British Government to - at the very least - support that and vote against any new World Bank loans to Argentina
We need your help to collect 100,000 signatures to ensure that the issue is debated in the House of Commons. Please help make this happen by sharing the petition far and wide.
Outstanding loans from World Bank institutions to Argentina were worth $16.2 billion in March 2012. Based on shareholdings in the two responsible institutions, that implies British taxpayers are responsible for over £225 million in loans to Argentina.
Britain would not be isolated in voting against any new loans to Argentina.
The Obama Administration in the United States currently has a policy of voting against any new loans, in response to Argentina’s treatment of existing creditors. British representatives should be instructed to support that policy. The Argentinian Government's actions have also angered other nations. Following the nationalisation of the YPF oil company owned by Spanish firm Repsol, and in response to import restrictions, the European Union has filed a suit against Argentina with the World Trade Organisation. That implies there would be broader support for action.
Britain can and should act to stop further World Bank loans to Argentina. This is a key opportunity to show that our aid policy reflects rather than ignores Britain’s broader national interests.