As Hurricane Irma hits Florida, Jubilee USA continues to pray for the safety of all. Our hearts are breaking as we see Hurricane Jose heading towards some of the same islands that Irma devastated.
Please sign our petition to help Hurricane Irma victims.
Ask the International Monetary Fund and other creditors to suspend debt payments for countries like Antigua and Barbuda that are severely impacted by Irma. Tell the White House and Congress to continue to implement grants, not loans, for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The US Virgin Islands will take years to recover and they are dealing with one of the worst debt crises in the Caribbean. Across the Caribbean and around our world, communities are ill prepared to deal with natural disaster because they have too much debt and are wrestling with financial crisis.
In the short term, we need to stop debt payments for seriously impacted islands and ensure we move forward grants, not loans, for rebuilding. In the long term, we need to address the broader policies of debt, tax and trade issues that impact our communities. We also need to address the issue of "climate debt." Wealthy countries caused climate change that is creating catastrophic storms and poor economies don't have the resources to recover from these climate-driven storms.
At a press conference in Barbados on Thursday, our Jubilee Caribbean Network partners made the debt and climate connection. Catholic Bishop Jason Gordon stated, "The whole debt thing is a question of justice... We didn't create the carbon footprint that the world has experienced and all of the ecological changes we've had."
As our Jubilee Caribbean partners called for debt payments from severely affected islands to stop, Jubilee USA's leadership sent a letter to the head of the IMF urging a moratorium on debt payments. Please join us and sign our petition to the IMF to suspend debt payments for countries devastated by Irma.Sign our petition to the IMF to suspend debt payments for countries devastated by Irma.
“Given this situation, now we are going to countries that are facing serious economic situations and already have loans to be repaid. We are going to see if we can make some appeals for debt relief,” noted Reverend John Persaud, the General Secretary of the Antilles Episcopal Conference.
The Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and the British and US Virgin Islands are some of the worst affected. Now these islands and our other island neighbors prepare for Hurricanes Jose and Katia.
Thanks for your partnership,