Wenski, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Policy,
termed the action by the World Bank Executive Board “a concrete
application of Pope John Paul II’s call for the ‘globalization of
decision by the World Bank flows from the commitment made by the G8
leaders last year in Edinburgh, Scotland. It will cancel 100 percent of
17 impoverished countries’ debts to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), World Bank, and African Development Bank in 2006.
It has been
described as a small but significant victory that flows from the
sustained interest and advocacy of the Catholic Church and other
In a press
release issued March 31, the USCCB pointed out that they joined with
others to offer an alternative that would grant debt cancellation
within two to three months of reaching the completion point, instead of
having to wait for over a year.
The USCCB will
continue to call for the cancellation of debts for dozens of other
impoverished nations and from significant creditors such as the
Inter-American Development Bank.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the
decision by the World Bank Executive Board to approve debt cancellation
for an initial 17 countries, effective July 1, as well as the agreement
to cancel poor countries’ debt in the least time possible.