Eli Kitchings

  • Global Finance Quotes Eric LeCompte on Post-Pandemic Inequality

    Global Finance Magazine quotes Eric LeCompte on the growing inequality since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story. 

    IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings

    Post-pandemic economics hobble infrastructure growth.

    By Rob Daly

    As finance ministers and central bankers from more than 190 countries gather in Marrakesh for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, what optimism they have is tempered by the flare-up of Middle East violence that threatens to spread and post-pandemic economic realities.

    The global economic recovery since the pandemic's start remains uneven, as Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, noted in her curtain-raising speech. “[T]he current pace of global growth remains quite weak, well below the 3.8% average of the two decades before the pandemic,” she said. “And looking ahead over the medium term, growth has weakened further.”

    The World Bank estimates that the global economy has lost $3.7 trillion in global output, which has hit the lower-income emerging economies the hardest. Meanwhile, the US economy has returned to pre-pandemic growth rates.


    Read more here

  • Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on the Conflict in Israel and Gaza

    Eric LeCompte is quoted in Reuters on the attention shifts from IMF and World Bank discussions on economic policy due to conflict. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story. 

    World Bank urges cooling of Israel-Gaza conflict as annual meetings start

    By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

    MARRAKECH, Morocco, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The World Bank on Monday urged a "rapid de-escalation" of the fighting in Israel and Gaza as the violence cast a pall over the start of the bank's annual meetings with the International Monetary Fund in Morocco.

    An internal World Bank memo seen by Reuters cited a "devastating loss of life, destruction and heavy toll on civilians being incurred on both sides," but voiced support for the lender's work in Gaza and the West Bank.

    "We hope for a rapid de-escalation of the conflict and end to the violence. The World Bank and our development partners have long worked to support the poorest, most vulnerable people in the West Bank and Gaza, and we remain committed to building the foundations for a more stable and sustainable future."


    Read more here.


  • Africa Interfaith Leaders Call for Debt Relief and Crises Aid

    Religious Groups Call for Jubilee 2025

    African religious leaders called for resolving debt crises to deal with climate, health, food and energy crises facing the continent. The 26 religious leaders from 12 countries represent Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and other Christian denominations, the All Africa Council of Churches, Muslim, and indigenous faiths.

    Ahead of the upcoming G20 and African Climate summits, the leaders met and issued a joint statement, calling for debt relief and changes to the financial system to address growing crises. Caritas Africa and the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa hosted the meeting in Nairobi.

    African countries owe collectively more than $1.1 trillion in debt and 25 of them face debt crises according to the IMF and World Bank.

    “In the late 1990s . . . our faith communities were among those gathered in the Jubilee movement to advocate for breaking the chains of debt in developing countries,” the religious leaders said. “As we approach a new Jubilee year in 2025, that promise remains unfulfilled.”

    The 1990s advocacy culminated with the largest debt relief initiatives to date. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries/ Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives released $130 billion in exchange for borrowers implementing participatory poverty reduction policies and economic reforms.

    “The stakes of this debt crisis are much higher,” the statement reads. “We need large investments to save the planet that sustains life in Africa and elsewhere, during a window that is rapidly closing.”

    The leaders stated that the low use of the G20's debt relief initiative, in spite of the high number of countries in crisis is a sign of ineffectiveness. Their document emphasizes the need to address private creditors that hold more than 45% of African debt.

    “[M]ajor financial centers that govern their contracts have a special responsibility to pass laws that bind them to share in debt relief,” the interfaith statement adds.  

    They expressed support for the New York and International Debt Crises Protection Act. The bill, currently pending in the New York State Legislature would ensure that private creditors join debt relief initiatives. The bill is supported by almost a quarter of New York State lawmakers.

    The leaders also addressed current needs for more development bank resources.

    “African countries will need scaled up access to concessional and low-cost, long-term finance,” they said. “Multilateral development banks are the institutions most capable of deploying such type of funding, but cannot currently keep up with demand.”

    In July, G20 finance ministers reviewed a report that makes the case for an additional $500 billion in external public finance to help developing countries meet climate and development goals. Multilateral development banks would have to increase annual grants and loans by $260 billion in order to meet the additional needs.

    "Our convergence is... a robust testament to the cohesive strength of interfaith unity, combined wisdom, and a shared commitment to justice," added the leaders.

    Read the full Nairobi African religious leaders statement here.

  • G20 Finance Ministers Focus on Debt, Development and Dismal Economic Outlook in Gandhinagar

    IMF Forecasts “Bleakest” Economy in Decades

    On Monday, G20 Finance Ministers hold their third meeting hosted in Gandhinagar by the Indian government. The gathering comes as IMF global economic growth forecasts remain the lowest in decades. 

    “Global economic challenges are pushing countries deeper into debt,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, who has followed IMF and G20 policies for more than a decade. “The pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and high interest rates are raising debt in developing countries and these countries don't have the resources to respond to their food and climate crises.”

    In June, after more than two years, governments holding Zambia debt announced agreement to reduce collection by the equivalent of 40%. However, payments will increase if Zambia’s economy does better, and will not decrease if it does worse than expected. Zambia still has to negotiate a restructuring of near $7 billion in debt owed to private creditors.

    “More than 60% of Zambia's people live in poverty,” noted LeCompte. "Not enough debt was cut to address the suffering of Zambia's people."

    The debt renegotiation took place under a process set by the G20 in late 2020 to cut developing country debts, the Common Framework for Debt Treatments. Zambia and Chad are the only countries to receive some relief so far.

    Finance Ministers will review a report on additional needs for multilateral development bank lending. Former US Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers and former chairperson of the Fifteenth Finance Commission of India Nand Kishore Singh chair the group issuing the report. 

    “Development banks need more money and need to implement reforms to effectively distribute additional resources to respond to regional crises,” stated LeCompte. 

    G20 commitment to transfer $100 billion in emergency pandemic aid – Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) – from wealthy to poor country economies will also be on the agenda. More than $400 billion, out of $650 billion the IMF created in 2021, went to wealthy economies which committed to redirect $100 billion of their share to developing countries.


  • The Financial Times Quotes Eric LeCompte on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act

    The Financial Times quotes Eric LeCompte on the necessity and support of the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act (S4747, A2970). Read an excerpt below, or the full article here.

    Investors brace for new law on sovereign debt workouts

    by Jonathan Wheatley

    A law close to approval in the state of New York would force commercial creditors including bondholders to give the same relief as lender governments when developing countries restructure sovereign debts. Its backers say it would streamline debt workouts — agreements between lenders and borrowers to renegotiate terms following a default — that have dragged on for months or years in countries such as Zambia and Sri Lanka. It would also stop “holdout” or “vulture” creditors from bringing protracted lawsuits to get a better deal than other lenders.

    Its backers say it would streamline debt workouts — agreements between lenders and borrowers to renegotiate terms following a default — that have dragged on for months or years in countries such as Zambia and Sri Lanka.

    It would also stop “holdout” or “vulture” creditors from bringing protracted lawsuits to get a better deal than other lenders.



    Read the full article here.




  • published IMF and World Bank Vigil and Press Conference in Press 2023-04-05 16:48:57 -0400

    IMF and World Bank Vigil and Press Conference

    Protecting Lives, Livelihoods and Planet

    April 14, 2023

    On April 10th - April 16th, world leaders will gather in Washington, DC for the G20, IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. Here, they will make consequential decisions affecting billions of people and our planet. In the face of shocks from the Ukraine war, the pandemic, food crisis and climate disasters, we are calling on world leaders to support jobs, debt relief, economic aid and climate change solutions.

    Join us on Friday, April 14th for a vigil and press conference in occasion of the IMF, World Bank and G20 Meetings. Hear how religious and community leaders from around the world are working for a Jubilee.

    To stay up to date on all of the events please register at the link below. If you have any questions feel free to contact [email protected].
    Outside IMF and World Bank, Community Park 1824-1884 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006.

    Schedule for Friday, April 14th
    • 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM: Vigil

    • 2:00 PM: Press Conference

      • Opening Prayer

        • Bishop Charles Kasonde, Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia, President of Association of Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA)

      • Speakers
        • Rev. Charles Chilufya S.J., Executive Director, Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa

        • Patricia Miranda, Global Advocacy Director, LATINDADD

        • Athena Peralta, Programme Executive for Economic and Ecological Justice, World Council of Churches

        • Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA

        • Candace Archer, Policy Director, AFL-CIO

        • Bishop Charles Kasonde, Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia, President of Association of Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA)

    Register at Jubilee IMF/ World Bank Vigil and Press Conference Registration

    Follow the livestream here

  • Eric LeCompte's Essay "Addressing Debt Crises, Healthcare Access, and the Pandemic" in the Cambridge University Press, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs Journal

    Eric LeCompte, writing for the Cambridge University Press, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs journal, examines the impact of high sovereign debts on healthcare in developing countries. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full essay.


    Addressing Debt Crises, Healthcare Access, and the Pandemic

    By Eric LeCompte

    Most developing countries continue to wrestle with dramatic health and economic crises spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries were and still are ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic because of debt crises and unsustainable sovereign debt. As African countries struggle with debt, as of mid-2022, only 15 percent of the continent was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the World Health Organization.

    This essay examines the impact of high sovereign debts on healthcare in developing countries. As a civil society advocate, I have monitored how countries’ debts weakened healthcare systems prior to the pandemic and left developing countries with limited resources to provide healthcare and respond to the pandemic. While developing country social infrastructure and health systems are subject to a range of structural threats from corruption to the effects of austerity, unsustainable debt exacerbates most threats these countries face.


    Read more here.

  • CBS on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act

    CBS Albany Discusses Jubilee USA's New York debt bill to tackle developing countries' debt crises and address supply shocks. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

    Assemblymember Fahy introduces NY taxpayer and international debt crises protection act

    By WRGB Staff

    Albany, NY (WRGB) — Assemblymember Fahy is introducing the New York taxpayer and international debt crises protection act

    It requires private creditors to join debt relief initiatives for developing nations, which are struggling with debt crises, the pandemic and economic shock from the war in Ukraine.

    The bill prevents tax money that funds u-s contributions to debt relief initiatives from being used to bail out private creditors and enables countries that are in debt to support spending on health, education and other services for their most vulnerable.

    See the article here.


  • United Nations Press features Eric LeCompte on how LDC's can reach the Sustainable Development Goals

    Eric LeCompte is featured in the United Nations Press regarding his suggestions on how the Least Developed Countries can meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

    Challenged by Poor Access to External Financing, Aid, Least Developed Countries Must Mobilize Domestic Resources, Promote Investment, Speakers Stress at Doha Round Table

    DOHA, 8 March — Efforts to mobilize domestic resources, increase Government revenues, promote investment and fight illicit financial flows are required to offset the challenges that least developed countries face in accessing concessional financing and insufficient external development aid, speakers stressed today as the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries held its last full day of high-level thematic round tables.

    Opening the meeting on “Resource mobilization and strengthened global partnerships for sustainable development in least developed countries”, Sorasak Pan, Minister for Commerce of Cambodia and Co-Chair of the seventh high-level thematic round table, pointed out that least developed countries depend on public resources to finance their sustainable-development needs.  Fiscal deficits have only grown, occasioned by increased spending needs across all sectors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Urgent measures are therefore needed to support economies and social-protection systems.  On that point, he highlighted the gender impact of such policies, as women are impacted the most when public services are cut.

    Read more here.

  • Associated Press, ABC News, the Washington Post quotes Eric LeCompte on US nomination of Ajay Banga for World Bank President

    Eric LeCompte is quoted by the Associated Press, ABC News, the Washington Post regarding the US nomination of Ajay Banga to be the World Bank President. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.


    US nominates Ajay Banga for World Bank president

    By Fatima Hussein 

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is nominating former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, President Joe Biden announced on Thursday, crediting him with critical experience on global challenges including climate change.

    The news comes days after Trump appointee David Malpass announced plans to step down in June from his role leading the 189-nation poverty reduction agency. His five-year term was due to expire in April 2024.

    Read more here

  • Reuters, the Financial Post and Yahoo Quote Eric LeCompte on New York Bill to Tackle Developing Countries Debt Crises and US Supply Shocks

    Eric LeCompte is quoted in Reuters regarding the introduction of the "New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act" in the New York State Senate. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

    New York state bill seen aiding poor country debt relief

    By David Lawder

    WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - As major debt-distressed countries and major creditors discussed ways to unlock faster debt relief on Friday, legislation under consideration in New York's state legislature would push private sector creditors to participate, state lawmakers and non-profit groups say.

    New York State Senator Brad Holyman-Sigal, a Democrat representing lower and parts of mid-town Manhattan, said he introduced companion legislation to the "New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Prevention Act" already under consideration in the state assembly.

    Read more here.

  • Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte on IMF, World Bank and G20 debt roundtable

    Eric LeCompte is quoted in Reuters regarding the upcoming IMF, World Bank and G20 sovereign debt roundtable. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

    China, U.S. to participate in first meeting of new debt roundtable on Feb. 17

    By Andrea Shalal

    WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Officials from China, India, Saudi Arabia and Group of Seven wealthy nations will participate in a first virtual meeting of a new sovereign debt roundtable on Friday, three sources familiar with the plans said on Monday.

    The roundtable will also include officials from countries that have requested debt treatments under the Group of 20 common framework - Ethiopia, Zambia and Ghana - as well as middle-income countries such as Singapore, Suriname and Ecuador, which have faced their own debt crises, the sources said.

    Read more here:


  • published Devex Profiles Jubilee USA in Press 2022-05-05 12:28:46 -0400

    Devex Profiles Jubilee USA

    Devex profiles Jubilee USA. Read full article here

    Indebted to faith: How the Jubilee campaign aims to end global poverty

    By Shabtai Gold

    A few days have passed since the gloomy Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, rife with warnings about the war in Ukraine and looming food riots, so Eric LeCompte is a welcome breath of fresh air. The leader of the Jubilee USA Network has an understated positive vibe that is quietly infectious and not exactly discernable at first.

    His career began in the mid-1990s in New York’s Catholic homeless shelters and soup kitchens, and it later took him to advocate against torture in Latin America through work at School of the Americas Watch. Now with Jubilee in Washington, he’s focused on reworking a global financial system he says is based on outdated architecture that perpetuates inequality.

    There are “a few countries at the top who call the shots for the whole world,” he says, leading to his sharp focus on lower-income countries’ debt burdens.

    LeCompte is deeply enmeshed in the details of global finance, not just abstractions. He is intimately familiar with the fine print of challenges facing debtor nations, from excessive loan burdens and interest rates to corruption and trade.

    He says both low- and high-income countries must improve their performances to end the cycle of indebtedness and poverty.

    “The reality is, countries go into debt because they are not capturing revenue at home,” he says, noting that tackling illicit financial flows and corruption often involves leadership at both ends of the wealth spectrum. His rhetoric focuses less on blame and more on action.

  • published AP, US News, Fox and NYT Quotes Eric LeCompte in Press 2022-05-05 11:52:34 -0400

    AP, US News, Fox and NYT Quotes Eric LeCompte

    AP, US News, Fox and NYT Quotes Eric LeCompte. Read the full article here.

    Rising Interest Rates in US Will Hinder Foreign Economies

    By Paul Wiseman 

    WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates — as it did Wednesday — the impact doesn’t stop with U.S. homebuyers paying more for mortgages or Main Street business owners facing costlier bank loans.

    The fallout can be felt beyond America’s borders, hitting shopkeepers in Sri Lanka, farmers in Mozambique and families in poorer countries around the world. The impacts abroad range from higher borrowing costs to depreciating currencies.

    “It will put pressure on all types of developing countries,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of groups seeking to reduce global poverty.

  • published Eric LeCompte is Quoted in This Day Live in Press 2022-04-28 11:19:40 -0400

    Eric LeCompte is Quoted in This Day Live

    Eric LeCompte is Quoted in This Day Live. Read the full article here.

    African Bishops Urge Global Finance Leaders to End Isolation of Poor

    By Ndubuisi Francis

    African bishops under the aegis of Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) have called on global financial institutions meeting in Washington DC, United States of America to, “help shape an economy that better protects the dignity and basic human rights of our sisters and brothers all around the world.”

    The bishops also called on the finance ministers and other leaders to implement viable wide-ranging plans to help Africa emerge from its economic crisis as well as to resume progress toward meeting the current list of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris climate agreement, and the African Agenda 2063 plan for economic and human development.

    The executive director of Jubilee USA, an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organisations working with SECAM, Eric LeCompte said the bishops felt it was time for the large global financial system to address the needs of Africa more fully.

    “It became clear during the pandemic that Africa would see some of the most severe job losses and the most significant increases in extreme poverty and yet be left out of a lot of the response.

    “This was a significant concern of the bishops in Africa,”LeCompte told Catholic News Service.

    He added; “We wanted to work together more closely in global advocacy that looked at all the changes that are needed and all of the solutions that are needed to address this kind of problem. And also really lift the voice of those affected in Africa.”

  • Katholiek Nieuwsblad Quotes Eric LeCompte on African Bishop Statement

    Katholiek Nieuwsblad Quotes Eric LeCompte on African Bishop Statement. Read the full article here.

    African bishops want more international support for the poor

    KN Editorial

    African bishops want finance ministers worldwide to take measures to end the isolation of poor and vulnerable people. They issued an appeal this week in the run-up to the meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

    During the meetings to be held on April 22 and 23, the IMF and the World Bank will discuss the issues after the global corona pandemic. Many countries are experiencing high inflation as a result of the pandemic. They also have to deal with the consequences of the extensive economic sanctions against Russia in response to the war in Ukraine.

    Eric LeCompte, director of a US alliance of religious NGOs working with SECAM, said the bishops believe it is time to better serve Africa's needs.

    During the pandemic, Africa faced severe job losses and it became clear that extreme poverty would increase significantly, he said. But nothing happened.

    "This is a major concern of bishops in Africa," he added in an interview with CNS news agency. “We want to work more closely together in global advocacy, looking at all the changes and all the solutions needed to tackle these kinds of issues.” They also want to give those affected in Africa a voice.

  • Glasgow Climate Deal Renews Pledge to Support Developing Countries

    Two hundred countries finalized an agreement during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland to limit global warming. In 2009, developed countries promised $100 billion of annual climate funding to developing countries by 2020. According to the OECD, funding estimates will not be met before 2023. The agreement expresses regret about the missed finance target and calls for increasing support for developing countries. 

    “The climate summit agreement recognizes the urgency of reaching the $100 billion target for developing countries and the reality that more support is needed,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Debt relief can be an important resource for us to reach the levels of support developing countries need."

    The Glasgow outcome noted concern with heightened debts as developing countries respond to the COVID crisis. The agreement asks development banks and lenders to consider climate vulnerabilities in determining access to aid and global reserve funds known as Special Drawing Rights. 

    One provision advocated by developing countries failed to make it in the final COP26 agreement. An agreement failed on compensation for developing countries experiencing damage from extreme climate-driven weather events. Instead the summit outcome foresees a new body to offer technical assistance for developing countries combating the effects of climate change.

    “Many developing countries are dealing with more frequent natural disasters," stated LeCompte. "We need processes to support vulnerable countries as they face more extreme weather events caused by climate change."

    The deal proposes setting a new climate finance and aid goal by 2025. Some countries believe more than a trillion dollars is needed.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on climate funding and COP26 here.

    Read Jubilee's new research on climate risks and COP26 here.

  • Counter Punch features Eric LeCompte on COP26 outcomes

    Counter Punch featured Eric LeCompte in an article about the need for greater commitments from wealthier countries in the fight against climate crises. Read an excerpt below and the full article here

    How the Wealthiest Countries Schemed to Avoid Economic Commitments at COP26

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, explained to me in an interview that developing countries are suffering from the fact that “their natural resources were taken during the industrialization period that took place in Europe and the United States in the 1800s and the 1900s, fueling the climate crisis.”

    Most of these same nations were left out of the recent climate discussions by the G20, as they are too poor to be considered members of the exclusive club. It remains to be seen if these nations will be able to extract greater commitments at the COP26 meeting.

    LeCompte reflected, “it seems right now that there is a lot of despair among countries in terms of if it’s going to be possible to fulfill” pledges like a $100 billion financing pledge to help poorer nations combat climate change. Indeed, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared on Twitter as the summit ended, “While I welcome the G20’s recommitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled.”


    Read more here

  • Eric LeCompte featured in Rising Up With Sonali in episode on G-20 summit impacts

    Eric LeCompte spoke with Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Rising Up With Sonali, in an episode entitled "Assessing the G-20 Summit on Taxation, Pandemic, and More". Read an excerpt below and listen to the full episode here.

    Assessing the G-20 Summit on Taxation, Pandemic, and More

    Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

    "At Jubilee, we look at what the structural policies of the financial system are which perpetuate inequality. We look at what the processes are that either we lack or the policies for why we have extreme poverty in the world, and one of those is debt. Countries have debts that are so high they're unable to pay for social services." 

    "Countries that were really teetering on the edge before the pandemic are now fully in crisis. We're seeing food shortages around the world. We're seeing significant increases in job loss, with 400m jobs lost mostly in developing middle-income countries."

    "COP26 is certainly an important meeting, and it's happening right after the G-20. I think one of the pieces in terms of bold, ambitious commitments that should come out of COP is that it has to influence the G-20 and the IMF, because these institutions will make some of the most significant decisions regarding our planet and climate change over the next 5 years."


    Listen to the full episode here.