Aldo Caliari

  • donated 2022-08-30 12:40:50 -0400

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  • Jubilee USA Network Statement on G20 Finance Ministers Meeting

    Washington DC – The G20 finance ministers concluded their meetings in Bali, Indonesia. The ministers focused on the global economy impacted by the pandemic, Ukraine war, high country debt levels and rising inflation. 

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who tracked or participated in G20 meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the G20 finance ministers meeting:

    “The lack of a G20 finance ministers communiqué means it will be more difficult for the G20 to forge a consensus on vital issues in the fall.

    "Tensions over Russia's war in Ukraine translated to the G20 failing to take more action on inflation, food shortages and pandemic response.

    “Internal divisions hinder the G20’s ability to act decisively and leaves the world in uncharted waters.

    “Countries lack the resources to deal with food shortages and we are concerned that the food shortages can lead to unrest.

    “As more countries risk defaulting on their loans, we face more threats for stability of the global economy.

    “We are waiting for the G20's debt reduction framework to be running so developing countries can receive relief to address food shortages and respond to the pandemic.

    “A critical part of the G20 meetings was reviewing proposals that can increase development bank lending by hundreds of billions.

    “Getting more resources to development banks would be a significant step to prevent future pandemics and food crises."

    Read Jubilee USA's press release about the meetings here.  

  • IMF Extends Debt Cancellation for Poorest Countries into April

    Washington DC – The IMF extends debt payment relief for 25 countries through April 2022. The IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) was activated early in the pandemic to provide debt relief and aid for the world's poorest countries. In all, 29 countries received nearly one billion dollars in relief.

    “Debt relief remains a critical part of the global pandemic response,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Debt relief has helped countries respond to the health and economic crises. More debt relief will be needed for many developing countries.”

    The IMF CCRT debt relief process was initially used for disaster-hit Haiti and then three African countries responding to Ebola. As the CCRT provided debt relief since the dawn of the pandemic, after the next phase of relief - CCRT resources will be depleted to $95 million.

    “More commitments and donations are essential to provide debt relief for developing countries struggling with the pandemic,” added LeCompte. 

    Read the IMF release on the CCRT extension here.


  • Donors Announce $93 Billion in COVID and Development Aid for Poorest Countries

    Washington DC – A World Bank fund that aids the poorest countries will receive $93 billion over the next three years. The International Development Association (IDA) announcement came Wednesday at the end of a two-day donor pledging meeting in Tokyo.

    “As poor countries struggle with the pandemic and high levels of debt, they need more support,” said Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Religious groups pushed world leaders to increase humanitarian aid for developing countries struggling with the pandemic."

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network wrote a joint letter to President Biden in February urging additional funds for IDA and other development lenders to respond to increased COVID-spurred needs.

    “The committed donations are important as these countries need to spend more on social needs and climate challenges," stated Jubilee USA's Aldo Caliari, the group's Senior Director of Policy.

    IDA normally receives new funds every three years. The IDA replenishment is the 20th in its history and was originally scheduled for 2023 but rapid depletion of the previous one due to the COVID crisis, prompted donors to advance new funding by one year. The new IDA commitments were 13% higher than the previous replenishment. The Tokyo meeting was the last of four donor meetings to negotiate contributions.

    “More money for IDA is good news,” added LeCompte. "As we continue to confront the global health and economic crises, developing countries will also need debt relief and other sources of aid."

    Major US churches and international religious groups also signed a letter that Jubilee USA coordinated to the White House, G20 and IMF calling for additional aid to confront the pandemic. The nearly 300 signers included the Union for Reform Judaism, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Church of Christ Churches.

    Read Jubilee USA and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops joint letter to the White House here.

    Read Jubilee USA's COVID response letter calling for additional aid and development bank support with nearly 300 signatories here.


  • Donors Announce $93 Billion in COVID and Development Aid for Poorest Countries

    Washington DC – A World Bank fund that aids the poorest countries will receive $93 billion over the next three years. The International Development Association (IDA) announcement came Wednesday at the end of a two-day donor pledging meeting in Tokyo.

    “As poor countries struggle with the pandemic and high levels of debt, they need more support,” said Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Religious groups pushed world leaders to increase humanitarian aid for developing countries struggling with the pandemic."

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network wrote a joint letter to President Biden in February urging additional funds for IDA and other development lenders to respond to increased COVID-spurred needs.

    “The committed donations are important as these countries need to spend more on social needs and climate challenges," stated Jubilee USA's Aldo Caliari, the group's Senior Director of Policy.

    IDA normally receives new funds every three years. The IDA replenishment is the 20th in its history and was originally scheduled for 2023 but rapid depletion of the previous one due to the COVID crisis, prompted donors to advance new funding by one year. The new IDA commitments were 13% higher than the previous replenishment. The Tokyo meeting was the last of four donor meetings to negotiate contributions.

    “More money for IDA is good news,” added LeCompte. "As we continue to confront the global health and economic crises, developing countries will also need debt relief and other sources of aid."

    Major US churches and international religious groups also signed a letter that Jubilee USA coordinated to the White House, G20 and IMF calling for additional aid to confront the pandemic. The nearly 300 signers included the Union for Reform Judaism, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Church of Christ Churches.

    Read Jubilee USA and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops joint letter to the White House here.

    Read Jubilee USA's COVID response letter calling for additional aid and development bank support with nearly 300 signatories 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.


  • US Pledges Aid, Vaccines and Climate Solutions at Vatican Conference

    A High Priority is Debt Relief, Says Treasury Secretary Yellen in Address

    Washington DC – Debt relief for poor countries is a high priority for the US, shared Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in virtual remarks at a Vatican meeting of global finance leaders and Catholic dignitaries. A G20 debt reduction process is in place for poor countries, but developing middle-income countries cannot access the process. During Yellen's address, she lifted US support for developing middle-income countries to qualify for debt relief.

    “Yellen's participation in this Vatican event shows the synergy between the pandemic response priorities of Pope Francis and the US Treasury,” said Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte advises the Vatican on economic issues and organized a meeting between high-level religious leaders and Yellen in March. "The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences did an incredible job convening leaders to confront the current crisis."

    “Dreaming of a Better Restart,” the conference that Yellen attended, focused on economic policies to combat inequality, climate change and food insecurity.

    Yellen remarked on US support for creating $650 billion of emergency currency, known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). While developing countries will receive more that $200 billion of these new resources, more than $400 billion is received by wealthy countries. Yellen stated the US wants to donate their share of SDRs to poor countries.

    “The support of the US to get as many new resources to developing countries is critical,” stated LeCompte. “More resources are needed to get vaccines to developing countries. Less than 2% of vaccines have reached poor countries.”

    The US recently signaled support to waive pharmaceutical patents to increase access for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies.

    On climate, Yellen repeated that the US will use its full power to tackle climate change. May 24th is the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, ‘Laudato Si.’ 

    "Yellen's powerful comments on climate change to this special Vatican conference come as we are celebrating the Holy Father's landmark teaching on protecting the environment," shared LeCompte.

    Read Secretary Yellen's Speech here.

    View the agenda and read about the Jubilee USA Treasury High-Level Religious Leader Roundtable here.

    Read Treasury's readout and release on the High-Level Roundtable here.


  • Biden Names Transparency Advocate to Top Regulatory Post

    Washington DC – Gary Gensler, former Wall Street regulator will be President-elect Biden's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Reuters. Gensler will lead the agency created after the 1920's stock market crash to protect investors and enforce stability in the banking system.

    "As the world wrestles with financial crises, Gensler is the right pick for this critical position," noted Eric LeCompte who leads Jubilee USA, a religious development group that advocates solutions for financial crises. "The SEC is key for stopping corruption and promoting global economic stability."

    In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Gensler chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and forced oversight on the banking industry. Gensler's SEC will issue enforcement rules on recent legislation passed in Congress like the Corporate Transparency Act that targets shell corporations. These types of corporations can hide the identity of their owner and facilitate crime, development aid theft and human trafficking.

    “Gensler understands there is no place for corruption in the financial system and holds a proven track record on promoting transparency,” stated LeCompte.