[Episcopal Public Policy Network press release] In April, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal. This earthquake and the aftershocks that followed have led to an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. One of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal is now in desperate need of resources to recover and protect its citizens, especially as monsoon season draws near. Many impacted families lack access to food, shelter, healthcare, or schools. Unfortunately, recovery and rebuilding efforts are complicated by the fact that the Nepalese government has to pay nearly $600,000 a day towards its foreign debt.
Episcopal Church policy on sovereign debt reduction supports debt relief for poor countries that are heavily indebted and have not previously qualified for debt cancellation. In that spirit, we join Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of organizations and faith communities of which The Episcopal Church is a member, in calling the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide immediate debt relief to Nepal so that the government can redirect these funds towards recovery and rebuilding efforts.