Countries Forge Global Development Agreement at UN Summit
After days of round-the-clock negotiation, the 194 member countries of the UN Conference on Trade and Development reached an agreement on debt, tax and trade policies. Stay tuned for more information as the agreement is finalized.
During the week-long conference, Eric joined the directors of the African Development Bank, the Kenyan Central Bank and European Finance Ministry officials at a roundtable on sovereign debt. He also addressed the summit during general debate.
July 22 - Member countries of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) renew the agency's mandate.
July 13 - Google institutes a ban on payday lending ads on its website.
July 1 - Puerto Rico defaults on its debt one day after President Obama signs Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation into law. The US Senate voted 68-30 to pass the legislation on June 29th. Read about Jubilee's perspective in the Washington Post, Catholic News Service and Agence France-Presse.
June 20 - Puerto Rico's religious leaders release a statement on the status of debt talks between the US territory's Governor and creditors.
Read more of Jubilee's latest news.
Puerto Rico's Humanitarian Crisis
June 2016 – The Senate voted 68-30 to pass Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation and send it to President Obama for his signature.
This legislation would not have passed without the leadership of Puerto Rico's religious leaders - and your phone calls and messages to Congress. The bipartisan legislation stops predatory behavior and prioritizes the payment of pensions and social services ahead of debt payments. It seeks to reduce child poverty on the island and provides strong bankruptcy tools to return the debt to sustainable levels.
Passing this legislation was an important first step toward building Jubilee in Puerto Rico - but it is not the last step.
As our executive director Eric LeCompte told the Washington Post after the vote:
"I think in terms of the real issues facing the island, we are just getting to the end of the beginning. This is not the beginning of the end."
Winning a Fair Debt Deal for Grenada and other Caribbean Nations
October, 2015 - In Grenada, working with our religious partners in the region, we won more than $100 million in debt relief and critical budget transparency and anti-austerity reforms. This past October, we helped bring together Caribbean bishops, the Caribbean Conference of Churches, the regional Papal Nuncio and a range of other religious leaders to form Jubilee Caribbean and launch replicas of our Grenada campaign on nine other heavily-indebted Caribbean islands. Our campaign is setting precedents for resolving debt and financial crisis that could benefit millions of the poorest people around the world
Because of vulnerability to recurring natural disasters and corruption, Caribbean nations face high debt and poverty levels - but because they are not considered "low-income" nations by international financial institutions, most aren't eligible for traditional debt relief initiatives. According to Moody's, a debt rating service, twelve of the twenty countries in the region have unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratios. Jubilee USA and its regional partners created a model for reducing debt in the Caribbean while promoting long term structures that deter austerity and predatory financial behavior, reduce corporate tax avoidance and promote budget transparency and accountability. Read about Jubilee's work to win debt relief in Grenada in the Wall Street Journal and ValueWalk and read our director Eric LeCompte's opeds on the Caribbean in Inter Press Service in 2013 and 2014.
Pope Francis and Poverty
September 2015 - Pope Francis' historic US visit focuses on building bridges to end global poverty. At the United Nations, Pope Francis urges world leaders to address the specific debt, tax and trade policies that drive global poverty, including "oppressive lending systems."
Jubilee also publishes four op-eds on the Pope's visit Jubilee Protects All of Us, Pope Francis Encourages Building Bridges to Address Challenges, The Pope, Partisanship and the Common Good, and Pope Francis in His Own Words.:
In 2014, a global Jubilee delegation met Pope Francis and held extensive meetings with high-level Vatican officials. The delegation discussed debt, tax, trade and financial reform with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State and Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Jubilee's work at the Vatican was featured in the National Catholic Reporter, Vatican News Network, Catholic News Service and ValueWalk.
Ebola Debt Relief Victory
February 5, 2015 - Jubilee USA won $100 million in debt relief for Ebola-impacted West African countries from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a new IMF debt relief fund for countries struck by natural disasters or health crises.
Our Ebola debt relief campaign began in the summer of 2014, when we released data showing that Guinea - where the epidemic began - was spending more on debt than on public health. That fall, we moved the White House to ask the IMF for $100 million in Ebola debt relief and pointed out that the IMF already had a trust fund set up to cancel debt in times of crisis. We moved the IMF to create that fund after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake. Ebola, we argued, was a good reason to use it again. In October, 150 Jubilee faith communities acted and prayed for Ebola debt relief.
The IMF expanded its Haiti fund to include countries struck by health crises and designated 38 of the world's poorest countries eligible for relief. This fund is the culmination of 15 years of Jubilee's work to end extreme poverty and create permanent social safety nets for countries in crisis.