Julian Yaruro

  • IMF Extends Zero-Interest Lending to Poor Countries

    IMF Can Sell Gold Reserves to Extend Aid to Developing Countries

    Washington DC – The IMF announced increased zero-interest lending for poor countries. IMF member countries further committed to investigate additional options to extend pandemic aid through 2029, including the selling of IMF gold reserves.

    “Poor countries need more support to confront the health and economic devastation caused by the coronavirus,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "While the IMF action is helpful, it still falls short of delivering the support developing countries need." 

    The Fund's announcement means zero-interest poor country lending increases through the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. Last year the IMF facility boosted lending for poor country COVID response. An IMF paper listed a limited sale of IMF gold reserves as a way to meet funding shortfalls.

    “In the past IMF gold reserves were sold to support poor countries," stated LeCompte. LeCompte's organization Jubilee USA organized nearly 270 religious and development groups to sign a letter to the IMF calling for COVID response aid including the selling of IMF gold. "Most of the world's people face incredible suffering because of the pandemic. All funding options must be on the table."

    Read Jubilee USA's IMF COVID response letter with nearly 270 signatories here.

    Read the IMF policy paper on zero-interest lending here.


  • Jubilee USA Statement on G7 Summit and Communiqué

    Washington DC - The G7 Summit concludes in the United Kingdom and leaders release a communiqué on COVID-19 response, vaccines, trade, debt relief, tax reform and climate change.

    Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the G7 Summit and communiqué:

    “As a third wave of the pandemic hits developing countries, the G7 commits to donating a billion vaccines. This is progress, but falls short of what we need to end the pandemic.

    “Waiving pharmaceutical vaccine patents is vital for developing countries to produce and procure coronavirus vaccines. Unfortunately, the G7 failed to support a temporary patent waiver to confront the pandemic.

    “We are seeing incredible G7 progress on curbing tax avoidance and corruption. 

    "If corporations paid their fair share in taxes, countries would have greater resources to combat the economic shocks caused by the coronavirus.

    "The G7's support of curbing tax avoidance lays the groundwork for the G20 to move forward an agreement.

    “As countries wrestle with debt crises and the pandemic, the G7 supports reducing and relieving debt.

    “The G7 must ensure that the private sector participates in debt relief and debt relief is expanded to help all developing countries in need.

    "The creation of $650 billion of emergency reserve currency by August, is a priority for the G7 to confront the economic and health crises spurred by the coronavirus.

    “The G7 supports the creation and distribution of Special Drawing Rights to get more vaccines to developing countries, fight climate change and reduce poverty.

    "Climate change is a growing priority for the G7.

    "The G7 promised critical support for developing countries to build more green infrastructure to confront climate change.

    "The G7 sees that some of the most important climate change decisions will happen as a part of global financial decisions and pandemic response."

    Read the G7 Summit Communiqué here.

    Read Jubilee USA's G7 Summit press release.

    Read about the WTO COVID vaccine patent waiver process here.


  • Bloomberg Quotes Eric LeCompte on China's Lending Framework for Low-Income Countries

    Bloomberg quotes Eric LeCompte on China's unilateral large-scale lending to low-income countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    China and Its Lenders Have to Join the Global Club

    By Michael Schuman

    Perhaps more importantly, Beijing must become far more transparent about its lending. China has been notoriously secretive about its aid programs. A 2019 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Massachusetts found that half of all Chinese overseas loans to developing countries have been “hidden,” as in not properly reported. This is in part the fault of the borrowing governments. But Beijing often insists on this secrecy.  An analysis of Chinese loan contracts co-authored by Parks and released in March discovered that “the Chinese contracts contain unusual confidentiality clauses that bar borrowers from revealing the terms or even the existence of the debt.” This could easily muck up restructurings by making other creditors wary of cooperating due to a dearth of clarity on China’s loans.

    Beijing ought to release its debtors from these stipulations when necessary to assist the restructuring process. Better still, the Chinese government should become more proactive in detailing the extent of its lending. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development manages a program for creditor countries to report their development assistance. China should participate.

    Most of all, Beijing has to resist its urge to go its own way. Doubts remain that Beijing is fully committed to the G20 framework. Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of organizations focused on anti-poverty issues, told me he believes “China’s preference is to be able to go it alone,” and cut its own deals.


    Read the full article here.


  • Crux Features Eric LeCompte on Waiving IP Protections for COVID-19 Vaccines

    Crux features Eric LeCompte on President Biden's support to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Catholics debate Biden’s waiver of property rights for vaccines

    By John Lavenburg

    In conversations with Crux, officials from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Jubilee USA Network touted waiving IP protections on the vaccines – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets –  as an essential step towards ending the pandemic.

    “What we’re saying in this instance is that this is a disease that’s ravaging the entire globe,” said Emily Wei, director of policy for CRS. “We’re not going to eradicate it until everyone is vaccinated and you reach that herd immunity.”

    CRS estimates that reaching herd immunity will take an estimated 11 billion doses to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population (assuming two doses are given per person).

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA NETWORK also acknowledged the point that these vaccines are essential for stopping mutations and variants “that could re-infect people in the north if the developing world doesn’t get access to vaccines.” But, he also noted there’s a great global economic impact to not helping these countries get back on their feet.

     

    Read the full article here.


  • National Catholic Reporter Quotes Eric LeCompte on Climate Summit

    National Catholic Reporter quotes Eric LeCompte on the representation of developing countries at President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Pope Francis, in Earth Day messages, warns 'we are at the edge' on climate change

    By Brian Roewe

    In a statement, Jose Aguto, associate director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, said the summit, along with Biden's American Jobs Plan, were "positive steps our nation can take to uplift the dignity of all people and address climate change." An interfaith statement from 13 religious organizations, including Interfaith Power & Light and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, offered "prayers and our hopes for moral leadership" during the summit" and that the U.S. respond to climate change "with urgency, fairness and equity."

    "Addressing the scale of this problem in all its dimensions requires us, and indeed all stakeholders, to embrace a whole community approach, with government taking on a significant role," the faith organizations wrote.

    Officials with the Maryknoll Offfice in their own statement applauded the summit, calling it "a good step forward in the right direction." Chloe Noël, its faith, economy and ecology program coordinator, said the U.S. commitments "make a just and equitable recovery possible," adding that climate projects worldwide have to include local community participation and respect human rights and environmental integrity.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, was encouraged that the summit included a diverse representation across geography, industry and varying economies. He added it was an important signal that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke and that debt relief for developing countries be considered in conjunction with sustainable investments in those regions.

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter and Crux Feature Eric LeCompte's Views on COVID, Tax, Debt and IMF Meetings

    CNS, National Catholic Reporter, Crux and others feature Eric LeCompte's views on COVID, tax and debt relief decisions at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

    Advocates welcome global steps to help poor nations with pandemic recovery

    By Dennis SadowskiCatholic News Service

    Recent decisions by leading financial institutions and the world's leading economies to ease the debt burden of the world's poorest nations will help those countries respond to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the executive director of Jubilee USA said.

    The decisions were reached during April meetings of the Group of 20 nations, or G-20, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

    "We've made some real progress," said Eric LeCompte, who heads the alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations and has long advocated for financial reforms affecting the world's 73 poorest nations and dozens of other middle-income countries.

    "The steps will allow countries to respond to the pandemic and other needs," LeCompte told Catholic News Service April 15. "At the same time, with how serious the crisis is, we recognize we need to do a lot more and in some ways move quickly."

    Atop Jubliee USA's priority list was the creation of $650 billion in emergency reserve funds, known as Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs. He described the size of the fund package as the "biggest ever mobilization of such reserves."


    Read the full article here.


  • Associated Press, MarketWatch, Fox Feature Eric LeCompte on G20 Temporary Debt Payment Moratorium

    Associated Press, MarketWatch, Fox, and hundreds of local outlets quote Eric LeCompte on the G20's temporary debt payment moratorium. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Major economies support $650 billion boost in IMF resources

    By Martin Crutsinger

    The proposal to increase the IMF’s resources received a boost earlier this year when it got the backing of the Biden administration. The resources are known as IMF Special Drawing Rights and create an asset that countries can use to bolster their own reserves.

    The proposal still needs approval from the IMF’s board and then contributions from member countries.

    The debt-payment deal extends the moratorium begun last year until the end of this year. But international aid groups expressed unhappiness that the G-20 is saying the extension will be the final one to be offered.

    “We’ve seen progress on debt relief and aid, but we still need to solve multiple challenges so countries can get through this crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network. “It is unlikely that the breathing space indebted countries get with this extension will be enough.”

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Common Dreams Pens In-Depth Article on Jubilee COVID Letter Endorsed by 260 Organizations

    Common Dreams quotes Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's letter urging additional debt relief measures in low- and middle-income countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    'We Must Do More': Hundreds of Advocacy Groups Urge Biden, G20, and IMF to Increase Pandemic Aid

    By Common Dreams

    While both the G20 and IMF have agreed to temporarily suspend debt payments for dozens of developing nations, Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert who heads the Jubilee USA Network, said these moves are not enough. 

    "World leaders worked hard over the last year to tackle the health and economic crises spurred by the [Covid-19] pandemic," said LeCompte on Wednesday. "We must do more. Unless we take immediate action to solidify more aid and relief, we face lost decades of development and millions more will suffer." 

    Finance ministers from G7 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—last month agreed to create emergency reserve funds, or Special Drawing Rights (SDR), in what LeCompte at the time called an effort "to confront the [Covid-19] economic crisis that is ravaging developing countries."

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Reuters, Fox Business Covers Jubilee USA Letter to the IMF, G20 and White House on COVID Response

    Reuters covers Jubilee USA's Covid letter to G20 leaders, the IMF, and the White House in support of debt relief expansion measures. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    G20 to boost IMF war chest, extend debt-servicing freeze


  • BBC World Features Eric LeCompte for 6 Minute Segment on Global COVID Economic Solutions

    BBC's Business Matters interviews Eric Lecompte on the urgent need for international action on debt relief in developing and middle-income countries. Click here to listen to the episode from 4:00 to 9:44. 

    IMF: Rich world recovering faster than expected

    By BBC Business Matters

    Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte 

    "These middle-income developing countries have stronger economies than the 77 poorest countries in the world, and right now, these particular countries are looking at the highest risk in terms of growing poverty rates, famine rates, and job loss."

    "At the same time, these middle-income developing countries are also countries that have been left out of solutions proposed so far by the G20 and IMF in terms of aid packages and debt relief."

    "We have seen a quite significant global conversation take place on expanding debt relief and increasing aid for the developing world."

    "We see that the G20, as well as the IMF, are much more serious about ensuring that there is debt cancellation for the poorest countries."

    "It's the developing middle-income countries that are going to see some of the most significant suffering, and that's where we need to move and increase debt relief measures."

     

    Click here to listen to the episode from 4:00 to 9:44.


  • Fox News, Fortune and Reuters Interview Eric LeCompte on Leadership of Women in Global Economy

    Eric LeCompte discusses the importance of leadership from women in global economic decisions. LeCompte speaks about his recent meeting with Treasury Secretary Yellen. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    What happens when women run the economy? We're about to find out

    By Andrea Shalal

    A study by the American Psychological Association showed that U.S. states with female governors had fewer COVID-19 deaths than those led by men, and Harvard Business Review reported that women got significantly better ratings in 360-degree assessments of 60,000 leaders between March to June 2020.

    Women account for less than 2% of CEOs at financial institutions and less than 20% of executive board members, but the institutions they do run show greater financial resilience and stability, IMF research shows.

    Eric LeCompte, a UN adviser and executive director of a non-profit that advocates for debt relief, said he noticed a clear difference during a meeting with Yellen and the leaders of Christian and Jewish faith groups last month.

    “I’ve been meeting with Treasury secretaries for 20 years, and their talking points have been entirely different,” he said. “In every area we discussed, Yellen put an emphasis on empathy, and the impact of policies on vulnerable communities.”

    Her male predecessors had a “brass tacks” approach that focused first on “numbers not people” and never mentioned words like “vulnerable,” he said.

     

    Read the full article here.


  • World Council of Churches Quotes Eric LeCompte on Civil Society Policy Forum

    World Council of Churches Quotes Eric LeCompte on faith-based organizational meetings with the IMF and World Bank to discuss global debt reductions. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    As debt piles onto the backs of poor countries, Christian community calls for relief

    Jeronim Zettelmeyer, deputy director of the International Monetary Fund’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department, shared current efforts to respond to the debt crisis. At the same time, he said civil society organisations should “put pressure on their own domestic authorities” as the problem does not only lie with the international financial architecture. 

    Marcello Estevao, global director of the World Bank’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice said that their “goal is to enlarge the breathing space for poor countries” in a time of economic crisis.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, cited the lack of private sector participation and inadequate coverage of middle-income indebted countries as key challenges to current initiatives to tackle debt. Moving forward, “there is a need to expand debt relief to middle income countries.”

     

    Read the full article here.


  • The Record, Catholic Spirit and Catholic News Service Cover Jubilee USA's Meeting with Secretary Yellen and Faith Leaders

    The Catholic Spirit covers Jubilee USA's high-level meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and faith leaders. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Religious, labor leaders optimistic after meeting with treasury secretary

    By Dennis Sadowski

    The discussion focused on accessing emergency reserve funds, known as Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, debt policies, humanitarian aid, climate change, bankruptcy, financial transparency and tax proposals to prevent future economic crises.

    In addition, a presentation by Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico, specifically addressed concerns related to the island territory’s debt.

    It is the first such meeting involving a Treasury Department secretary and faith leaders in at least three decades, said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations, who organized the meeting.

    In addition to Catholic representatives, also attending were leaders of the Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ churches, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Puerto Rico Evangelical General Bible Society. They were joined by the AFL-CIO and the International Trade Union Confederation.

     

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Bloomberg Quotes Eric LeCompte on Meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

    Bloomberg quotes Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's meeting with the Treasury Secretary and major faith leaders. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    IMF Mulls Creating $650 Billion in Reserves After Yellen Nod

    By Eric Martin and Saleha Mohsin

    More than 200 groups including the Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit organization that advocates for debt relief for developing countries, had called on the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs. They say the funds are needed to help free up resources for health care and social spending. Some Democrats in Congress had pledged support for a similar-sized move.

    But an SDR issuance of roughly $650 billion would be about the maximum that the U.S. Treasury can support without needing to getapproval from Congress, depending on the exchange rate.

    “This announcement is incredible progress,” said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network. “Developing countries need these resources to confront the crisis as soon as possible."

    Read the full article here.


  • Devex Quotes Eric LeCompte on G7 Support for Special Drawing Rights

    Devex quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7's support to issue special drawing rights for developing nations. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    G-7 leaders support 'sizeable' Special Drawing Rights allocation

    By Adva Saldinger

    While the G-7 finance ministers described the new issuance as “sizeable,” they stopped short of stating an amount. They did say the new allocation will be “subject to the IMF’s analysis of global reserve needs,” which will be presented before any formal agreement. That assessment is highly anticipated.

    "We are waiting on the IMF to formally assess the needs of poor countries to decide on the size of a SDR issuance,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director at Jubilee USA Network, in a statement. “There is no doubt that developing countries have needs north of a trillion dollars.”

    Another outcome of the meeting was an agreement between the G-7 and IMF to enhance transparency and accountability around SDR usage and to determine how countries could voluntarily use their SDRs to support low-income countries. The G-7 said IMF should determine some options for how that could be done, but it should not delay an agreement to a new general allocation, the statement said.

     

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on Meeting with Secretary Yellen and Faith Leaders

    Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's meeting with Treasury Secretary Yellen along with many religious faith leaders. Read an except below, and click here for the full story.

    Yellen vows to use 'full power' of U.S. government to tackle climate change

    By Andrea Shalal

    Yellen also said she saw a potential new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s emergency reserves, or Special Drawing Rights, as part of a broader package of assistance to low-income countries, but gave no details.

    Yellen’s support, first announced last month, reversed the opposition of the Trump administration, paving the way for a likely SDR allocation this year. U.S. support is critical because it is the IMF’s largest shareholder.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said the discussion made clear that climate policies were a growing focus of the G7 and G20 major economies.

    “Treasury is looking at climate issues in very deep ways,” he said.

     

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Bloomberg Covers Jubilee USA Network's High-Level Meeting with Treasury Secretary Yellen

    Bloomberg covers Jubilee USA Network's historic meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on international debt and COVID response. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Yellen Tells Faith Leaders Poor Nations Need Help on Covid-19

    By Eric Martin

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a group of religious leaders on Tuesday that low-income nations needed continued international support to deal with Covid-19.

    Yellen told the leaders that she views the possible creation of new International Monetary Fund reserve assets called special drawing rights, or SDRs, as part of wider aid for poor countries, the Treasury Department said in a statement. That includes IMF financing, multilateral development bank grants and loans, debt rescheduling and relief through the Group of 20’s common framework, the Treasury said.

     

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Jubilee USA Network Roundtable Agenda

    Tuesday, March 16th, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

    (Roundtable closed to public)

    I. Jubilee USA Network's Eric LeCompte Moderates, Welcomes and Thanks Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

    II. Opening Prayer and Statement: Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism and Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

    III. Jubilee USA Agenda Presentations 

    A.) Special Drawing Rights - Most Reverend Bishop David Malloy, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace

    B.) Common Framework, Private Sector and Middle-Income Countries - Cathy Feingold, International Director of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Vice President of the International Trade Union Confederation

    C.) Climate Change, Climate Finance and Decisions from G7/G20 and IMF - Most Reverend Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

    D.) Puerto Rico Debt and Treasury Analysis - Most Reverend Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico and Reverend Heriberto Martinez, General Secretary of Puerto Rico's Evangelical Bible Society

    E.) Increased Concessional Lending and Boosting Development Bank Support - Reverend John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ

    F.) Preventing the Next Crisis, Promoting Transparency, Improved Permanent Debt Restructuring Processes and International Financial Architecture - The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network

    G.) Working with Treasury and Administration on Jubilee Coronavirus Response - The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church

    IV.) Secretary Janet Yellen Address

    V.) Interactive Roundtable Discussion

    VI.) Closing Prayer - Most Reverend Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America


  • Reuters, New York Times, Fox Feature Jubilee USA’s High-Level Meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

    Reuters, the Times, Fox, and other outlets quote Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's high-level meeting with Secretary Yellen. Jubilee USA are joined by major religious and labor leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Union for Reform Judaism, Puerto Rico Catholic Church, Puerto Rico Bible Society, and the American Federation of Labor. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Yellen to meet religious leaders, NGO group pushing for debt relief

    By Andrea Shalal

    The online meeting will focus on ways to increase resources to help poor and middle income countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent debt restructuring and climate change, said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network.

    LeCompte said it was common for religious leaders to meet once with a U.S. president during a term, but a meeting with a Treasury secretary was unusual.

    “What’s unique is that the major religious institutions are coming together to solve the current pandemic crisis and prevent future crises,” he said. The World Bank estimates the pandemic will push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty.

    He said the meeting reflected Yellen’s focus on the global nature of the pandemic, and her willingness to engage with a range of U.S. leaders to hammer out solutions.

     

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Bloomberg Features Jubilee Letter to IMF on Special Drawing Rights

    Bloomberg features Jubilee's letter to the IMF supporting special drawing rights in light of upcoming G20 agreements. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    G-20 Moves Toward Consensus on IMF Reserve Firepower Boost

    By Saleha MohsinAlessandra Migliaccio, and Eric Martin

    Yellen on Thursday endorsed strengthening support for developing nations, saying that “without further international action to support low-income countries, we risk a dangerous and permanent divergence in the global economy.” The IMF and World Bank “must continue to play a role in financing the global health response,” she said.

    While an expansion in the IMF’s resources could help low-income nations in the fight against the coronavirus, the G-20 and others need to work toward “greater transparency and accountability” in the use of the fund’s firepower.

    More than 200 groups, including the Jubilee USA Network, had called on the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs. They say the funds are needed to provide debt relief in developing nations and help free up resources for health care and social spending. Some Democrats in Congress have pledged support for a similar-sized move.

     

    Read the full article here.