This title examines one of the world's critical issues, developing nations' debt. Readers will learn the historical background of this issue leading up to its current and future impact on society. What is debt, types of debt, how the debt crisis began, and the human cost of debt and poverty are discussed in detail. Causes of debt such as costs of oil and war are examined. Affects of debt and its servicing are also covered, such as inability of citizens to obtain oil, food, water, education and health care, resulting in disease, lowered life span, and increased child mortality rates are discussed. Organizations that monitor debt, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Trade Organization (WTO), the African Development Bank (AFDB), and the United Nations (UN) are introduced. Initiatives, Agreements and Solutions to fight dept and poverty such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Structural Adjustment Programs, Transparency International, World Health Organization, Water.org, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Millennium Development Goals are included. Engaging text, informative sidebars, and color photographs present information realistically, leaving readers with a thorough, honest interpretation of developing nations' debt. Features include a timeline, facts, additional resources, Web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Essential Issues is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.