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Home  >  News  >  Help The Poorest Says Moderator


Help The Poorest Says Moderator


                                                                                                                             Tuesday July 28 2020

THE MODERATOR of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has said the Covid-19 pandemic offers the opportunity to made a difference to the poorest people of the world.

Speaking at the launch of a new report from Christian Aid, which warns of deeper inequality in the wake of the global virus, the Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair said: “As we begin to re-imagine what our future might be like, we can join with the wider faith and civil society movement in urging our leaders to prioritise issues of justice, equality and care for creation. Let’s hear voices from civil society: from theologians, philosophers, poets and artists, and most importantly, from people who have direct and lived experience of struggling against poverty, violence and injustice.” 

He added: “Throughout history, massive upheavals have led to societies taking momentous decisions. Following the Second World War, for example, the Government established the welfare state and the NHS to aid national recovery. The upheaval of the pandemic brings the opportunity to make equally momentous decisions – such as cancelling debt for the poorest nations in our world as the report recommends.”


The report, Building Back with Justice: Dismantling Inequalities after Covid-19, which has been backed by a range of church leaders warns that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated deep and often hidden inequalities across the world, and could tip over into “catastrophe” unless there is a recovery plan that addresses these inequalities.

The report states: “The pandemic has exposed and reinforced deep inequalities that long pre-date it… Without immediate and decisive action, a crisis in the poorest countries threatens to escalate into a catastrophe that will cause untold human suffering, entrench inequalities and slow any recovery.”

Christian Aid has criticised richer countries in the global north for failing to relieve the debt burden on countries in the global south who were already crippled with debt repayments before the pandemic struck.

The charity has called for “a comprehensive 12-month cancellation of debt principal and interest for 76 low-income countries”. The charity says that debt cancellation “could be one of the fastest ways to free up resources for some of the countries worst affected by the pandemic and its economic impacts”.

The report was also backed by the Rev Ruth Harvey, Leader of the Iona Community who said:  “As we emerge out of the eye of this current pandemic storm, what are the new glimpses of the kingdom that we catch out of the corner of our eye? This report both points the way and outlines the programme we must follow to build back better.” 

Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, added: “We are in an era of unprecedented neighbourliness. Communities across Scotland have rallied together during this crisis, looking after our sisters and brothers in new and innovative ways. But this report spells out, in depth and in detail, the ways in which this pandemic affects our neighbours living in the countries in which Christian Aid works.”

Read the report in full here


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