The Viatorian Community supports the African Catholic bishops — representing 23 countries — who issued a statement to G7 leaders to take action on debt crises, development bank reform and greater aid for the continent hit by multiple crises. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the group meet this week, May 11th through 13th. Japan will host G7 ministers and presidents in Hiroshima on May 19th – 21st.

The bishops raised Pope Francis’ call for effective and reliable processes to alleviate unpayable debts and advocated that private creditors participate in debt relief.

“The G7 include the major debt issuance jurisdictions that need to coordinate domestic legal reforms to deter [private] creditor litigation against countries renegotiating debts,” said the bishops. “Prompt passage of the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act will do that for the large share of debt issued in that jurisdiction, and offers a simple and effective model other G7 countries can follow.”

Their statement was shared by the Jubilee USA Network, which formed 30 years ago when they discovered that many of the poorest countries in the world were paying more on debt payments than they were paying for education and healthcare in their countries. Children were dying of starvation and malnutrition while developing world governments paid the principal of loans multiple times over, consequently they argued that Instead of paying debt, resources should go to reducing poverty and providing healthcare and education for those most in need.

Read the bishops’ full statement, here.