19. March 2018

Jubilee Caribbean demanding debt cancellation in case of natural catastrophes

Every eleven years, the small island states in the eastern Caribbean are hit by category 5 hurricanes following the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Last year, the hurricanes ‘Irma’ and ‘Maria’, measured with a wind velocity up to 300 kilometres per hour, caused destruction of more than double the annual economic performance, which threw back the islands by years regarding their economic capacities.

With financial support of the Latin America debt relief organization ‘Adveniat’, church representatives and NGO-activists from St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago met in Grenada on 15 March in order to discuss how the circle of destruction, economic regression, rebuild and repeated destruction can be stopped. The fact is: none of the small island with an average population of 100.000 has the capacities to simultaneously finance reconstruction and the repayments to the creditor.

That is why Jubilee Caribbean demands that, following the biblical concept of the Jubilee year, the possibility of debt cancellation to finance a restart must be established. The appeal designed in Grenada specifies this approach.

This ecumenical appeal is supported by several regional dioceses, the Antilles Episcopal Conference as well as the Methodist, Baptist und Presbyterian Church. The governments of Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank support the appeal, too. Together with Jubilee USA and the British Jubilee Debt Campaign, erlassjahr.de belongs the international partners of Jubilee Caribbean.