THE DIRECTOR of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, Julian Filochowski, joined with the heads of other development agencies last week in an appeal to Mrs Thatcher as Chairman of the 1984 Economic Summit, to support global measures to help the Third World.
In a letter delivered by hand to 10 Downing Street, Mr. Filochowski, the Rev Charles Elliott of Christian Aid, Guy Stringer of Oxfam, Malcolm Harper of the United Nations Association and John Mitchell of the World Development Movement, called for new initiatives from the seven leaders attending the summit to counter the appalling economic crisis facing the developing world.
The agencies asked for a special fund to provide loans to needy countries, and requested the phasing out of trade restrictions on imports from the poorest Third World countries. A new approach was needed by the western banks to the crippling dept burden of the Third World, the letter said.
The summit of the leaders of the seven western industrialised nations provided little response to the letter. Despite warnings from President Francois Mittgerrand of France that to blindly force developing countries to adjust their repayments on debts could lead to food riots and political upheaval, the seven leaders rejected any major overhaul of the system of loans to the Third World.
The leaders decided to stick to a case-by-case approach to the debts of developing countries, and to reschedule loans to some countries such as Mexico which have shown determination in applying the authority measures the International Monetary Fund has demanded.
Speaking after the summit, Mr. Filochowski described its final communique as "disappointing". He accused the developed nations of being, more interested in "selfpreservation" than in the Third World. Money was being made "at the expense of the lives of poor people", he said.
More than £151,000 has now reached Cafod in response to the bishops appeal for Africa, including £10,000 from SCIAF, Cafod's sister agency in Scotland. Some of that money has already been dispatched to Ghana to purchase two welldigging machines, and to Mali and Ethiopia for foodstuffs and seed.