Trócaire have called on the Irish Government to use their influence to ensure no poor country is at risk of a “debt crisis” due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This comes as Pope Francis and Caritas Internationalis called for debt relief to poor countries reeling from war, poverty and the coronavirus pandemic last week.
Trócaire is calling on the Irish and UK Governments to: “Work within the IMF, the World Bank, and other multilateral forums, for a full, coordinated cancellation of all bilateral, multilateral and private sovereign debt repayments due in 2020 and 2021, from low- and middle-income countries, and work for sufficient grant-based aid to ensure that no country in the Global South faces risk of debt crises because of Covid-19.”
The call is part of the charity’s ‘Build Back Better’ campaign, which urges the Government to do its part to help rebuild the world in a just and sustainable way.
It calls for international commitments on aid spending to be met, as well as a renewed focus on climate action and protecting human rights. Trócaire’s CEO Caoimhe de Barra said: “Covid-19 has highlighted how interconnected and interdependent we are. It has also highlighted how vulnerable the poorest members of our global society are to sudden shocks. Too many countries lack basic healthcare. Too many countries lack safety nets to protect their people.
“Overseas aid works. It has lifted millions out of poverty, slashed maternal and infant mortality rates, and led to more people being in school than ever before. Aid works but aid budgets are now under threat due to the Covid-19 financial crisis. We can’t let the poorest people in the world suffer most.”
She added: “We have a unique window of opportunity to transform to more sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies that leave no-one behind. Building back better is not a return to business as usual. Trócaire calls for a global recovery that puts both sustainability and human rights at the heart of the response at home and internationally.”