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Maryknoll missioners have seen the impact of overwhelming and unjust debt on already poor communities in the countries where they live and work.. Repeated debt crises in the 1980s and 1990s gave creditors, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, a handle to reshape the economies of over 100 countries. Structural adjustment programs and additional macroeconomic policy reforms attached as conditions on debt relief and new loans moved way beyond the legitimate objective of controlling inflation, setting up the Southern hemisphere to provide the cheap labor, important minerals, oil and water, plus new markets essential to the free-market-driven development now being written into bilateral and regional trade agreements.

With the Jubilee USA Network and many others around the world, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has called for

  • 100 percent cancellation of impoverished country debt without conditions that worsen poverty and environmental destruction;
  • annulment of illegitimate debt;
  • for the creation of a neutral, international mechanism for arbitrating disputes over debt; and
  • for a new global economy that recognizes and rectifies centuries of injustice.

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