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Cut the debt of poor countries, Pope tells IMF, World Bank

EconomyApr 08, 2021 08:00AM ET
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© Reuters. Pope Francis holds weekly audience

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis has told world financial chiefs that poor countries hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus need to have their debt burden reduced and be given a greater say in global decision making.

In a letter to the participants of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's annual spring meeting, the pope said the pandemic had forced the world to come to terms with interrelated socioeconomic, ecological, and political crises.

"The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world's population owns half of its wealth," the pontiff said in the letter dated April 4.

He called for a new "global plan" that "necessarily means giving poorer and less developed nations an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market."

A spirit of global solidarity "demands at the least a significant reduction in the debt burden of the poorest nations, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic," he said.

Financial chiefs of the Group of 20 large economies on Wednesday extended a suspension of debt servicing costs for developing countries but fell short of cancelling debt or expanding debt relief as requested by non-profit organisations.

Financial markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, the pope said, calling for "a justly financed vaccine solidarity."

"We cannot allow the law of the marketplace to take precedence over the law of love and the health of all," he said.

With inoculation campaigns in poor African countries lagging far behind those of the rich world, particularly the United States and Britain, the pope appealed to political and business leaders to provide "vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy."

Cut the debt of poor countries, Pope tells IMF, World Bank
 

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Comments (3)
Eat Fed Liquid
Eat Fed Liquid Apr 08, 2021 10:00AM ET
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When did the Pope become a Central Banker?
Darren Ikin
Darren Ikin Apr 08, 2021 7:21AM ET
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who's been to the Vatican? they have billions in wealth. They could use it for the poor. but no, they keep on collecting
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Apr 08, 2021 7:21AM ET
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They have to pay settlement in courts
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Apr 08, 2021 6:57AM ET
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Why doesnt Vatican donate some of its tax free wealth?
Catharine Varady
Catharine Varady Apr 08, 2021 6:57AM ET
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i read some news that vatican is also in crisis as no polgrim visits during the pandemic. they usually sell tickets for visitors for funding their operation
 
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