Bishops urge government to step up world debt relief programme


 After their Low Week meeting, the Bishops Conference issued the following statement, praising the UK Government's lead in the international unpayable debt issue, but calling for further debt-cancellation and poverty reduction: The Bishops' Conference i. appreciates the Government's leadership in striving for the cancellation of the unpayable debts of the world's poorest countries. The Conference welcomes, in particular, the Government's readiness to make available total cancellation of the debt owed to it by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. ii. urges the Government to continue to work for a 100% cancellation of the debt of these same poor countries to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, so that such debt repayments may instead be channelled to the goals of poverty reduction and social development. iii. requests the Government to use the momentum generated by the present debt-relief programme to further truly sustainable development processes, and in i. requests the Government to use the momentum generated by the present debt-relief programme to further truly sustainable development processes, and in particular the attainment of the international development targets to halve the number of those in extreme poverty by the year 2015.

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