President Uhuru Kenyatta is now breathing easy after the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, intervened over the many loans that saw Kenyans protest to the International Monetary Fund.
In a letter to the IMF and World Bank, Pope Francis told the world financial chiefs to forgive or reduce the debt burden to poor countries like Kenya.
He said that poor countries hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus need to have their debt burden reduced and be given a greater say in global decision-making.
The Pope noted that the pandemic had forced the world to come to terms with interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises.
“The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth,” the pontiff said in the letter dated April 4.
He called for a new “global plan” that “necessarily means giving poorer and less developed nations an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market.”
“A spirit of global solidarity demands at the least a significant reduction in the debt burden of the poorest nations, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” he said.
The Pope further noted that financial markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, the pope said, calling for “a justly financed vaccine solidarity.”
“We cannot allow the law of the marketplace to take precedence over the law of love and the health of all,” he said.
With inoculation campaigns in poor African countries lagging far behind those of the rich, particularly the United States and Britain, the Pope appealed to political and business leaders to provide “vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy.”
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