Pope Francis has called on world financial leaders to reduce the debt burden of poorer countries.
In a letter to the participants of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s annual spring meeting, the pontiff also said that poor countries hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus should be given a greater say in global decision making.
“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 Pope said in the letter dated April 4.
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 added.
The Covid-19 crisis has left even wealthy countries struggling to grow economically and the pope said it had forced the world to “confront a series of grave and interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises”.
“It is my hope that your discussions will contribute to a model of ‘recovery’ capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good.
“For all our deeply-held convictions that all men and women are created equal, many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society, are effectively excluded from the financial world.
“The pandemic, however, has reminded us once again that no one is saved alone.
“If we are to come out of this situation as a better, more humane and solidary world, new and creative forms of social, political and economic participation must be devised, sensitive to the voice of the poor and committed to including them in the building of our common future.”