World leaders gather in Kathmandu around Nepal's request for USD 6.6 billion in rebuilding aid after a series of spring earthquakes. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is attending June 25 negotiations where Nepal's 3.8 billion debt is on the table as part of an earthquake recovery package. Nepal spends $600,000 a day servicing debt, or more than $35 million since the first April earthquake.
"Nepal is requesting relief from some debt payments as a portion of the aid plan," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Nepal's government is being too careful to call for total debt cancellation because of misplaced worries that they'll scare off investors."
Nepal is one of 38 countries eligible for debt relief from the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) new debt relief trust fund. The IMF created the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to relieve a country's debt payments when a natural disaster impacts a third of the country's population and destroys 25% of the nation's productive capacity. If Nepal qualifies for the trust, it could receive $23 million in debt relief of the $54 million it owes the IMF.
In his 222-page encyclical, Pope Francis warned about (1) the polar plight, (2) sea level rise, (3) ocean-bound water pollution, (4) ocean acidification, (5) overfishing and (6) loss of marine biodiversity.
Five years since the arrest, detention and release of the 43 health workers dubbed as the “Morong 43,” the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has finally issued a resolution stating that state forces violated the rights of the health workers.