#CancelTheDebt: CAFOD campaigners call for an end to debt injustice

13 October 2020

Campaigners outside Treasury with Cancel the Debt banner

Campaigners stand outside the Treasury, calling on the Chancellor to cancel unjust debt.

The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global health crisis in a century. Yet many countries are being forced to choose between spending money on saving lives or on continuing to pay their debts.

As members of one human family, no country should have to make this decision.

That's why, ahead of a number of crucial international meetings, campaigners from across the UK were outside the Treasury calling on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cancel all debt owed by developing countries.

As Pope Francis says, “...it is not right to demand or expect payment when the effect would be the imposition of political choices leading to hunger and despair for entire peoples.”

Read more about unjust debt

International meetings impacting millions

Between 14-19 October 2020, the IMF and World Bank annual meetings will take place, as well as the G20 finance ministers’ meeting. During these crunch talks, world leaders will discuss what action is needed to ensure the global economy recovers from the pandemic. 

In the run up to these meetings, we've joined forces with campaigners from Christian Aid, Oxfam, Jubilee Debt Campaign and Global Justice Now to urge the UK government to use its influence in these international organisations to ensure full cancellation of debts owed by developing countries to wealthy nations, banks and private creditors.

People pressure has successfully influenced decisions taken at these meetings in the past. It is vital that this happen again. Debt cancellation is about justice and survival.

Campaign with us on debt cancellation

Aisha Dodwell, CAFOD's Head of Campaigns, said:

"It is a terrible injustice that countries across the global south are forced to continue spending billions of pounds on debt repayments while millions of people are being plunged into poverty as a result of the pandemic.

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak must use the upcoming G20 finance ministers' meeting to ensure that wealthy nations work towards full debt cancellation for low-income countries.”

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