- Jun 23, 2021
The world cannot recover from the health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle climate change without debt relief, said the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis.
As the world reels from the COVID-19 pandemic, the poorest nations are suffering another problem: Crippling debt that has become nearly impossible to pay after the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Several Catholic leaders have joined an interfaith call for the British government to cancel the debt of the world’s poorest 77 countries.
The Vatican’s representative to the UN in Geneva says coordinated action by the international community is of “utmost importance,” as developing countries are already struggling under unsustainable debt burdens or because they are too poor to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Advocates for debt relief for the world’s poorest countries are calling on international policymakers to cancel debt payments and expand debt relief for developing nations to bolster health care and protect vulnerable people and workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
As Africa struggles with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the continent’s governments will have to make hard choices: Keep servicing its debts and compromise the lives of their people or stop debt repayments to redirect resources for emergency response.
Two leading proponents of debt relief for developing countries urged the White House to lead the call for a moratorium on debt payments for poor nations so they can devote funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Could the coronavirus-19 crisis lead to a jubilee?” Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle wondered out loud during a Mass livestreamed from the Pontifical Philippine College in Rome.