Lydia Andrews

  • Faith and Development Groups Urge Congressional Action for Hurricane-Affected Islands‎

    Washington DC - Religious and anti-poverty groups wrote to Congress this week‎ for expedited support for hurricane-hit US Territories and Caribbean nations.

    “The situation remains critical for hundreds of thousands of people across the Caribbean, for whom U.S. support—either through federal assistance or bilateral foreign assistance—constitutes critical support to meet both immediate and longer term needs,” said the Rev. John L.McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service.

    “Recent hurricane activity strongly suggests that scientific predictions about climate change were – tragically – correct. If this is the ‘new normal’ as many now suggest, then we must all scale up our strategies. As faith agencies, we are called upon be in solidarity with our neighbors, with the vulnerable, at risk, impoverished and displaced. And how we show up to help our broader family is also a litmus test for how we will treat our own. In recent weeks, my organization has delivered tens of thousands of needed supplies to hurricane-affected communities in the U.S and Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. Congress must now also ensure that adequate assistance is provided to the Caribbean islands to get back on their feet.

    "Seeing the devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands so long after the hurricanes struck is‎ incredibly sad," stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte just completed a tour of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands analyzing the recovery efforts. "It's important that the affected Caribbean islands get adequate relief to rebuild to withstand stronger storms."

    These Caribbean islands – like other small islands worldwide – share a common and extreme vulnerability to climate change: Warming oceans, rising sea levels, higher frequency and intensity of Category 4 and 5 storms and flooding caused by extreme rainfall and drought already affect the livelihoods, homes, agricultural production, food security and very existence of several million people. In 1992, the United Nations recognized the Small Island Developing States, a special country grouping with distinct developmental challenges that require targeted responses. The upcoming UN Climate Conference, which started today in Bonn and will go on to the November 17, will be the first one to be presided over by a Pacific Ocean state. In recognition of the urgent need for action and adaptation, mitigation and finance by these states, Fiji will preside over the conference.

    The wave of hurricanes in the Caribbean underline the need for better systems to deal with natural disasters of this magnitude. Religious groups are currently petitioning the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to stay debt payments for these countries, as well as to create the processes for moratoria on debt to be implemented automatically after similar disasters in the future. They are also petitioning sources of aid, like the U.S. government, to offer grants and not loans to struggling economies like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.




    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director

    Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director

    [email protected] / (o) (202) 783-3566 x109 (m) (847) 772-2305



  • Public Finance International Cites Jubilee USA's Work on Tax Avoidance

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently cited in Public Finance International speaking on corrupt tax avoidance and the release of the Paradise Papers. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Global Governments Called on to Tighten Up Tax Avoidance Laws


    By: Simone Rensch

    "Campaigning groups Jubilee USA and Transparency International have called for stronger international laws and for governments to introduce stricture measures to prevent corrupt tax avoidance. 

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, said: 'Over $‎500bn a year is lost by governments around the world because of the tax avoidance revealed in the Paradise Papers.

    'Unfortunately, many of these tax avoidance ‎schemes are legal and we need stronger international laws to prevent this activity.'”

    Read more here.

  • Newsweek Talks with Eric LeCompte about Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently cited in Newsweek speaking on Puerto Rico's debt crisis. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    The Pentagon Spends $250 Million on War Every Day—What Else Could We Do with That Money?

    By: Carlos Ballesteros

    "In the aftermath of Maria, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis stands in the way of recovery. As Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious coalition that's fighting for Puerto Rico debt relief , told USA Today last month, 'There’s no way for Puerto Rico to be able to rebuild, let alone recover, unless the debt is canceled.'"

    Read more here.

  • Catholic News Service Interviews Eric LeCompte on Caribbean Debt Relief

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Catholic News Service and Catholic Philly speaking on Caribbean debt relief in the midst of hurricane recovery. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article. 

    Caribbean Church Leaders Campaign for Debt Relief After Hurricanes

    By: Staff

    "Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, a Washington-based charity working with religious organizations to push for debt relief, said the additional costs of rebuilding more safely put governments in a bind: If they miss debt payments, their credit scores could be negatively affected, making it more difficult and costly to borrow in the future. Alternatively, they could be forced to borrow more from private lenders.

    'Putting these governments further into debt is the last thing we want to happen,' LeCompte told Catholic News Service. Under the debt relief plans that have been promoted, the countries would not be penalized for missing payments. Islands could also be made eligible for low-interest loans, LeCompte said.

    'Debt relief is the most direct and efficient way of freeing funds for these governments to respond to the human needs on the ground,' he said."

    Read more here.

  • National Catholic Reporter Talks with Eric LeCompte about the Work of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently cited in National Catholic Reporter speaking on the work of United Nations ambassador Archbishop Silvano Tomasi. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    New Book Shows Path for International Relations Inspired by Subsidiarity, Solidarity

    By: Joshua McElwee 

    "Eric LeCompte, who through his work as the executive director of the Jubilee USA Network came to know Tomasi as they both focused on debt, tax and trade issues at the U.N., said the archbishop is 'on the forefront of articulating the church's social teaching.'

    'His recent book only shows a small part of his legacy,' he continued. 'He is one of the church's most effective diplomats. He is a moral force for good. I've watched him single-handedly move U.N. global agreements on financial policies that protect the poor, common good trade policies and disarmament.'

    '[Tomasi's] published speeches show his incredible love for the poor and tireless advocacy to build God's kingdom on Earth,' he said."

    Read more here.

  • Catholic News Service Cites Jubilee USA's Work on Hurricane Relief

    Jubilee USA's advocacy for economic relief for hurricane-struck islands was recently cited in Catholic News Service, Crux Now, and Catholic Philly. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    In Caribbean, Church Agencies Help as Process of Rebuilding Begins

    By: Ezra Fieser

    "In rebuilding stronger, however, the governments face a challenge in securing financing while their economies struggle to recover from the storms. Religious organizations, led by Jubilee USA, an interfaith, nonprofit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations, are urging the international community to provide the funding.

    'Islands like Puerto Rico and Dominica are in critical need of reconstruction funds,' said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, in a statement Oct. 20."

    Read more here.

  • Public Finance International Features Jubilee USA's Advocacy for Policies to Prevent Financial Crises

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Public Finance International speaking on Jubilee USA's advocacy for policies to prevent financial crises. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Do More to Prevent Financial Crisis, says Debt Campaign

    By: Simone Rensch

    "'We need global policies in place that prevent risky and predatory behaviour and we still need policies in place that can prevent financial‎ crisis. We need stronger financial protections for developing economies when disaster strikes,' said LeCompte, who has observed IMF and World Bank Meetings since 2010.

    'While IMF staff are looking at better ways to predict crisis, we are not putting in place the actual tools to prevent the next financial crisis.'"

     Read more here.

  • MarketWatch Features Jubilee USA Panel at IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings

    Jubilee USA's work on debt relief for islands affected by recent hurricanes was recently featured in MarketWatch. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article. 

    New Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring Needed, Bankruptcy Law Expert Says

    By: Elizabeth Strassner

    "Similarly, Jubilee USA, which co-sponsored the panel discussion at which Schwarcz and Mutazu spoke, has recently advocated for a moratorium on Caribbean debt until the countries devastated by Hurricane Irma have time to rebuild.

    In a September letter to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Jubilee USA’s leadership asked the fund to cease debt collection until recovery efforts are well under way: 'We invite the IMF to implement an immediate moratorium on debt payments for countries severely impacted by the Category 5 storm until they have rebuilt and recovered.'"

    Read more here.

  • Philadelphia Inquirer Talks with Eric LeCompte about Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer speaking on Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Forgiveness Alone Won't End Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis

    By: Joseph DiStefano

    "Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans fled to the U.S. mainland. 'You can buy a $60 one-way ticket to Miami or an $89 ticket to New York, and you are a citizen here,' LeCompte says. Residents of storm-wracked, independent, and broke Caribbean islands such as Dominica and Antigua-Barbuda are still more desperate, seeking shelter from relatives abroad. Those islands face effective takeover by the International Monetary Fund.

    Could even rich U.S. states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where politicians try to paper over billion-dollar budget gaps by urging residents to gamble more, get like this? Bankruptcy and forgiveness aren’t enough, LeCompte concludes: 'There need to be protections in place for responsible lending and responsible borrowing. Public budget transparency. Bond market regulations. Or you’ll get more financial crises as bad as things got in Puerto Rico.'"

    Read more here.

  • Between the Lines Interviews Eric LeCompte on Debt Relief Following Hurricanes

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Between the Lines speaking on debt relief. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Urgent Call for Debt Relief After Hurricane Shatters Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

    By: Scott Harris

    "'In particular, we definitely want the bankruptcy process in Puerto Rico to continue to move forward. That process is going to take into account the devastation of the hurricane and ensure a higher cut in terms of the debt. In terms of the aid that comes from the United States that comes from the federal government, we want it to be robust in the form of grants that goes in terms of relief aid to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands. We don't want Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands to have to get more debt in order to finance its reconstruction and recovery.

    It's also absolutely imperative that the aid that comes in is sufficient to rebuild Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in ways that are going to be able to withstand what seem to be more powerful and more frequent storms in this moment of our history.

    And the final piece that we and our partners in Puerto Rico are advocating and it actually impacts many of the Caribbean Islands that have been devastated by the storms – from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands to the countries of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica – is that we really believe it's incumbent on Congress to pass greater laws around budget transparency, responsible lending and borrowing because these types of laws prevent financial crisis. These types of laws actually secure protections in the markets not only for the U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, but also in U.S. states and foreign countries because much of the world's debt is actually contracted through New York law.'"

    Read more here.