A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

We pass this along from our friends at Catholics Confront Global Poverty …

How can we confront global poverty?

Get wealthy nations to cancel debt payments so that poor countries can get back on their feet.

Meet Aurelie Nyapeye Yatchou, a community forest manager for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Cameroon. Cameroon suffers a high rate of underdevelopment, despite the presence of rich natural resources. Many forests in Cameroon and other developing countries have historically been exploited by logging companies and other large industries with little compensation for local communities.

Due to debt forgiveness and the work of CRS, many forest communities in Cameroon have been able to see a real improvement in the quality of life in their communities. In 2006, funds that were saved through the forgiveness of Cameroon’s debt were approved to be redirected into a new community forest management program run by CRS. This poverty reduction program now helps the forest communities that Aurelie manages improve their quality of life by managing, harvesting and selling valuable forest products such as wood, bark, leaves and seeds.

Since the wide-scale movement to cancel the debt of developing countries began in 1999, a great deal of progress has been made. The Jubilee USA Network reports that since the latest round of debt cancellation in 2006, more than $40 billion in debts in 21 countries in Africa and Latin America have been cancelled. Meanwhile total spending for education, health and other poverty-reducing investments in the countries receiving debt relief has increased substantially over the last decade.

But there is one remaining step to be taken: extending debt cancellation to all poor countries that need it and can show that they will use the savings for poverty reduction.

That’s why Catholics Confront Global Povertyis calling upon 1 million Catholics to urge the United States and international financial institutions such as the World Bank to cancel the debt of needy poor countries that have been left out of existing debt relief programs.

Here are three things you can do this week to confront global poverty:

Learn more about how completing debt forgiveness will help end global poverty.

Let your Facebook, MySpace, or other networks know about Catholics Confront Global Poverty.

Send this card to your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, classmates, fellow parishioners and others and invite them to become one in a million confronting global poverty. Make it your personal goal to recruit five new members this week.

Thanks. You’re one in a million!

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Comments on: "Helping poor countries get back on their feet" (1)

  1. Patricia Tekippe said:

    How do we prevent corrupt governments from using the debt cancellation funds to further oppress their people? e.g., Zimbabwe

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