Catholic News Service Quotes Jubilee USA on Puerto Rico's Debt

Jubilee USA Network comments on Puerto Rico's debt in an article by Catholic News Service. Read the full article here

Puerto Rico religious leaders welcome long-awaited debt restructuring plan

By: Dennis Sadowski

“We should make sure that the debt payments do not come at the expense of the hunger of our people, including our children, 60% of whom live in stark poverty,” he said in a statement released March 14 by Jubilee USA, an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations.

In their statement, the religious leaders called on Congress, the White House, creditors and other stakeholders to begin additional measures that would prevent Puerto Rico from having to renegotiate its debt again and to ensure that responses to climate change and “staggering child poverty” are carried out.

The leaders urged that economic development be prioritized so that manufacturing jobs can expand and sustainable infrastructure be built.

They also pressed for at least $50 billion of additional disaster recovery aid and that distribution of the $55 billion already approved be accelerated.

Other measures sought by the group include moving Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories to parity with U.S. states on nutrition, child poverty reduction, Medicaid, Medicare and tax relief programs, and the importance of a “debt audit” to promote transparency and accountability and stop “corruption and impunity.”

“As the end of bankruptcy is lauded, we continue to call for a true jubilee — a world where we all have enough, can live in dignity and honor the greatness of our creator,” the statement concluded.