Bishops Applaud Debt-Relief Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 28, 2005 ( The U.S. bishops’ conference congratulated U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow for his leadership in working toward debt relief for the poorest countries.

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Bishop John Ricard, chairman of the bishops’ International Policy Committee, sent Snow a letter of support today that said that “an agreement on multilateral debt cancellation would be a most important complement to the recent consensus that I understand has been achieved to provide new assistance by the International Development Association solely in the form of grants to a large number of the poorest countries.”

“We congratulate you for your leadership on this issue,” he continued.

He also expressed his hope that the treasury secretary and his counterparts from the other members of the G-7 nations would take “decisive action to complete the unfinished agenda concerning debt relief for the world’s poorest countries” when they meet in London next month.

“This is a particular concern because debt cancellation ought not to be about adjusting accounts but about combating poverty,” he said.

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