Eric Lecompte Featured in Devex on G20's COVID-19 Response

Eric LeCompte is featured in Devex on measures the G20 is taking to respond to COVID-19. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

How the COVID-19 response fared at the G-20

By Adva Saldinger

When finance ministers and central bankers from the G-20 group of nations met last week, they came to agreement on a number of global financial issues, including debt relief and a fiscal response to COVID-19.

But some global development advocates say they fell short on committing to improving coronavirus vaccine distribution.

“The biggest concern now is the lack of political will, political ambition, for the G-20 to tackle the vaccine distribution issue,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director at Jubilee USA Network. The pressure will be on the G-20 to agree on a process for global vaccine access at its October meeting — or risk what the International Monetary Fund has predicted could be a $9 trillion hit to the global economy, he said.

Some governments, such as Germany, have concerns about vaccine-related issues, including waiving intellectual property rights, LeCompte said. Many of those watching the meeting had hoped the G-20 would take action on vaccine production and distribution, given the consequences of a lack of global action. LeCompte said it was “baffling” that the group did not.

And for those reading closely, other language around COVID-19 relief in the statement appeared promising, LeCompte said.

To date, G-20 efforts to respond to the pandemic — notably the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the Common Framework for Debt Treatments Beyond the DSSI — have been limited to low-income countries. Development advocates, civil society organizations, and struggling middle-income countries have been pushing the G-20 and other global organizations, including IMF, to broaden the group of countries eligible for support.

Governments agreed to avoid “premature withdrawal of support measures” and maintained commitments on exchange rates. The group also backed a recent agreement on international tax architecture that includes reallocating profits of multinational enterprises and an effective global minimum corporate tax.

The agreement’s changes for how digital companies can be taxed could raise revenues in lower-income countries, and together they are “one of the most exciting things to see move forward,” LeCompte said.

 

Read more here.