- Apr 17, 2021
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.
On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis issued a call for reduction if not the forgiveness of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the world’s poorest countries so that they can better tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, says when Pope Francis goes against “vulture funds,” and calls for a new economic model, it’s because he has first-hand experience of the financial crisis these institutions caused in his home country, Argentina.
The director of Jubilee USA Network wants the pope’s ecological and economic messages from the Amazon Synod to get more attention.
Thousands of families in the Caribbean are relying on aid agencies for basic needs more than a month after hurricanes Irma and Maria ripped through the region, killing dozens and causing billions of dollars in damage. Bishop Robert Llanos said the role of the Catholic Church “is to find the most vulnerable, those overlooked by other organizations or the government, to ensure those individuals are receiving the help that they need.”
Archbishop Roberto González Nieves of San Juan and Reverend Heriberto Martínez-Rivera, the Secretary General of Puerto Rico’s Bible Society, have written the U.S. Congress stating the territory’s economic crisis “continues to affect all of Puerto Rico’s people, in particular the poor and our children.”