Cover Image
close this bookPutting Life Before Debt (CI - CIDSE, 1998, 38 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
View the documentINTRODUCTION
close this folderPART I: Debt and Jubilee
View the documentWhat is International Debt?
View the documentA Catholic Framework on Debt
View the documentWhy Now?
View the documentHow did the debt crisis come about?
View the documentImpact in the South
close this folderPART II: Reducing Debt
View the documentEarly Attempts to Reduce Debt
View the documentHeavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative
View the documentShortcomings of the HIPC Initiative
close this folderPART III: CIDSE/Caritas Internationalis Position on International Debt
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Cancel the unpayable debt by the year 2000
View the document2. Improve the HIPC Initiative
View the document3. Link debt cancellation with investment in human development
View the document4. Ensure decisions on debt relief are made in a transparent way
View the document5. Change the Structure of International Financial Relations
View the documentCONCLUSION
close this folderAPPENDICES
View the documentAppendix 1: CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis contacts
View the documentAppendix 2: Catholic Church Statements on Debt, 1987-1997 (by year)
View the documentAppendix 3: International and National Organizations on Debt
close this folderAppendix 4: Advocacy: Steps to Build a Campaign on Debt
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Learn more about the debt issue
View the document2. Establish clear aims and specific objectives
View the document3. Build awareness at the grassroots level and among coalitions
View the document4. Lobby decision makers
View the documentGLOSSARY
View the documentNOTES
View the documentBACK COVER


“Putting Life Before Debt” is published by CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and CI (Caritas Internationalis). The document is a result of the two groups' research and advocacy on debt and development issues. It is presented as a Catholic contribution to a reflection on values, opinion formation, policy making and action in light of both networks' continuing concern about the human and social burden of debt on the poor.

“Putting Life Before Debt” calls for the cancellation of the unpayable debt of the most impoverished countries by the year 2000. It also recommends improving the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, linking debt cancellation with investment in human development, ensuring that debt relief decisions are made in a transparent manner, and establishing a fair process for negotiation between debtors and creditors.

The recommendations, which provide a framework for a just and lasting solution to the debt problem, are also a powerful reminder of the need to recognize the suffering imposed by the debt and to respond appropriately. As Pope John Paul II has stated, “Thus, in the spirit of the Book of Leviticus (25:8-12), Christians will have to raise their voice on behalf of all the poor of the world, proposing the Jubilee as an appropriate time to give thought ... to reducing substantially, if not cancelling outright, the international debt which seriously threatens the future of many nations” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente #51).


CIDSE · Rue Stevin 16 · 1000 Brussels, Belgium · Tel: (322) 230 77 22 · Fax: (322) 230 70 82 ·

Caritas Internationalis · 16 Piazza San Calisto · 00153 Rome, Italy · Tel: (39) 6 698 871 97 · Fax: (39) 6 698 872 37

©1998 CIDSE, Caritas Internationalis, and United States Catholic Conference · Designed by: Catholic Relief Services