Harnessing the Power of Debt Cancellation
to Fight Hunger, Poverty & Injustice
Debt is one of the primary stumbling blocks impending development for poor countries who must spend limited resources on foreign debt payments rather than on healthcare and education.
Because Jubilee has a vested interest in repairing the world, tikkun olam, we would like to invite your Jewish community to become involved in our efforts.
- More than half of African countries spend a greater amount on debt payments than on health care for their citizens
- Sub-Saharan African countries spend $14.5 billion every year servicing foreign debts that are decades old; an amount greater than that received in foreign aid and greater than what is needed to alleviate the AIDS epidemic
- The United Nations estimates that the lives of 19,000 children could be saved every day if foreign debt payments were redirected to clean water, nutrition and basic healthcare services
- In cases where debt relief has been provided, countries have used the savings to dramatically increase health and education budgets, resulting in millions of kids returning to school, more vaccinations, stronger resources to fight the AIDS epidemic and increased access to health care
Why Join Jubilee?
Although the Jubilee campaign has made great progress, the debt continues to be oppressive in many countries, and there is still a great deal of work to do. Fighting for debt relief is a way to make a significant impact in the lives of millions of people in poor countries. Jewish texts, commentary and tradition are aware of the necessity of providing relief for those in need.
The great scholar Maimonides, for example, wrote that it is the greatest mitzvah to provide a means of self sufficiency. Working for debt relief is a way to help impoverished nations break free from dependence on foreign nations and provide for themselves.
Textual Support from the Torah
- "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." (Leviticus 25:10)
- "At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he hath lent unto his neighbor: he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because the lords release hath been proclaimed." (Deuteronomy 15)
Jubilee Congregations Program
Jubilee USA Network has launched the Jubilee Congregations interfaith program for religious communities across the country to learn about Jubilee and do more for lifesaving debt relief. Jubilee Congregations participate through raising awareness and taking action such as letter writing campaigns to government officials. We would like to invite you to learn more about becoming a Jubilee Congregation by visiting our Jubilee Congregations web page.
For more information about how to become involved with Jubilee, please contact Andrew Hanauer in our office in Washington D.C. at 202-783-3566 x 100 or at andrew(at)jubileeusa.org.