CNA Staff, Oct 9, 2020 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A Vatican representative called Wednesday for the cancelation of the debt of poor countries facing a “triple economic shock” as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said Oct. 7 that debt repayments and the pandemic have forced governments to “divert scarce national resources from fundamental programs of education, health and infrastructure to debt payments.”
“In light of this, the Holy See would like to encourage the international community to address the growing economic imbalances among states by way of debt restructuring and ultimately the ‘cancelation of the debt of the most vulnerable countries, in recognition of the severe impacts of the medical, social and economic crises they face as a result of COVID-19,’” the archbishop said, quoting Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
Caccia made the comments in an address to a committee on macroeconomic policy during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The archbishop noted that the coronavirus had had a “devastating impact” on the global economy, citing a “sobering” assessment from the UN Secretary General António Guterres: “The economic and social disruptions caused by COVID-19 brought about an unprecedented collapse of international trade in the first half of 2020.”