Pope renews call for debt relief

Pope Francis used his message to the World Bank to call for debt forgiveness for poorer countries (World Bank)

Pope Francis says poor countries cannot be expected to recover from the current financial crisis if the world returns to an economic model in which a small minority of people owns half of the world’s wealth. Source: CNS.

In a message to participants at the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund 2021 virtual spring meetings April 5-11, the Pope said that despite “our deeply held convictions that all men and women are created equal, many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society, are effectively excluded from the financial world”.

“If we are to come out of this situation as a better, more humane and solidary world, new and creative forms of social, political and economic participation must be devised, sensitive to the voice of the poor and committed to including them in the building of our common future,” he said.

Although countries are formulating their own recovery plans, the Pope wrote, there is a need for a global plan to create new institutions to advance “the integral human development of all peoples”.

Using his message to repeat his call for debt forgiveness for poorer countries, the Pope’s appeal coincided with the launch on Wednesday of a campaign by the Vatican’s COVID-19 commission calling for debt relief in Africa, where the situation of many countries has worsened because of the pandemic.

Poor nations, the Pope said, not only must have “an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market” but also a significant reduction in their debt.

“Relieving the burden of debt of so many countries and communities today is a profoundly human gesture that can help people to develop, to have access to vaccines, health, education and jobs,” he said.


Solidarity needed to reduce debt of poor nations, Pope tells World Bank (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS

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