Mahati Kalaparthy

  • El Independiente covers Jubilee USA and Latindadd's Pandemic Vulnerability Map

    El Independiente covers Jubilee USA Network and Latindadd's Pandemic Vulnerability Map and quotes Eric LeCompte and Aldo Caliari on the pandemic's effects in the Caribbean and Latin America. Read an excerpt below and the full article here

    Inequality and low income: the main vulnerabilities of Paraguay

    In a study carried out by the Latin American Network for Economic and Social Justice (Latindadd), Paraguay's main vulnerabilities were detected as low social coverage, unequal access to new technologies, low hospital capacity, a weak anti-money laundering system, and low population income.

    The so-called “Vulnerability Map” analyzes the conditions in 24 countries in the region and takes into account 12 dimensions, among which the fiscal situation, public debt, health system, employment, poverty and inequality stand out.

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, said, "this 'Vulnerability Map' shows that a simple focus on historical median income levels leaves us all in the dark."

    "Dependence on tourism activity — which the pandemic decimated — pre-existing levels of poverty and inequality, large informal sectors, and narrow tax bases are some of the factors that explain why the pandemic affected developing countries the most. We hope that presenting the data in this way provides a clearer picture of the challenges in developing countries,” explained LeCompte.

    In turn, Aldo Caliari, Director of Policy at Jubilee USA, stated that "we need more action by rich countries so that developing countries can face the global crisis."

    Read more here


  • Prensa Latina quotes Eric LeCompte and Aldo Caliari on the effects of COVID-19 in the Caribbean and Latin America

    Eric LeCompte and Aldo Caliari were quoted in an article by Prensa Latina discussing the vulnerability of Latin America and the Caribbean to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read an excerpt below and read the full article here

    Latin America and the Caribbean, the region most affected by Covid-19

    Today, the region of Latin America and the Caribbean is the most affected in the world by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by two non-governmental organizations.

    The executive director of Jubilee USA, Eric LeCompte, pointed out that the pandemic affected Latin America and the Caribbean more due to factors such as dependence on tourism, pre-existing levels of poverty and inequality, large informal sectors and narrow tax bases. 

    Le Compte warned that only countries categorized by the World Bank as being low-income can access emergency debt relief and other measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

    For Latindadd and Jubilee, that approach may dangerously underestimate how middle-income countries are suffering from damage caused by the pandemic. "We need more action from rich countries so that developing countries can face the crisis," said Jubilee USA Policy Director Aldo Caliari.

    Read more here


  • IMF Urges Wealthy Countries to Send COVID Aid to Poor Countries

    Washington DC – IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urged wealthy countries to donate IMF emergency COVID aid to developing countries. Her remarks opened an event organized by Jubilee USA Network in preparation for October IMF and G20 meetings.

    “In August, the IMF created a type of emergency currency called Special Drawing Rights to help countries fight the COVID economic and health crises,” said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte. "Wealthy countries received more than $400 billion of the relief aid while developing countries received around $235 billion. Wealthy countries can't use the special currency and should donate it to poor countries being ravaged by the pandemic."

    The IMF's Strategy, Policy and Review Department Director Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, former finance officials and development groups spoke at the event.

    “Developing countries can use the emergency aid for healthcare, social programs and protecting the environment,” added LeCompte. 

    In a letter sent to the G20 organized by Jubilee USA Network and Latindadd, 250 organizations propose guidelines for wealthy countries to donate their Special Drawing Rights to developing countries.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20/IMF letter here.

    Read the IMF/G20 letter here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of Special Drawing Rights here.


  • Bloomberg quotes Eric LeCompte on Biden's call for increased vaccine donations

    Eric LeCompte was quoted by Bloomberg in an article covering President Biden's virtual COVID-19 summit and call on rich nations to donate vaccines. Read an excerpt below and the full article here.   

    Biden Calls on Rich Countries to Escalate Vaccine Donations

    By Josh Wingrove

    The new U.S. commitment is on top of a 500-million-dose donation announced in June at the Group of Seven summit in the U.K. Distribution of those vaccines began last month. Combined with 130 million doses shipped out so far that had initially been bought for domestic use, the U.S. donation total is now at least 1.13 billion doses, more than double the total delivered domestically.

    Of those, at least 330 million have been pledged by the end of 2021. The remaining 800 million, including all of Biden’s new pledge, are to be delivered in 2022. 

    This is the first time that the U.S. has set a global vaccination target, though advocates are urging more aggressive ones. The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, has called for 70% of the world to be vaccinated by the end of June, three months before Biden’s timeline.

    “In some ways June and September are just too late,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit group. He gave the U.S. credit for hosting the summit. “We’re so excited that they are taking leadership on this, because there is unfortunately a leadership void, but we needed to get all this done yesterday,” he said. 

    Read more here.

  • The Guardian quotes Eric LeCompte on U.S. donation of additional vaccines to poor countries

    Eric LeCompte was quoted by the Guardian in an article covering President Biden's decision to donate an additional 500 million COVID vaccines to poor countries. Read an excerpt below and the full article here.   

    US to donate an additional 500m Covid vaccines to poorer countries, says Biden

    By David Smith 

    Joe Biden has announced that the US will donate an additional 500m Covid-19 vaccines to low- and middle-income countries around the world, bringing America’s total global donation to more than 1.1bn doses.

    The US president outlined the plan on Wednesday at a virtual coronavirus summit where he urged world leaders to “go big” in tackling the pandemic and closing the vaccination gap with poorer nations.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network and a UN finance expert, who is attending the summit, said in an interview: “It’s amazing that the Biden administration is filling a leadership void but we cannot move quickly enough from our perspective for two reasons. There’s the moral case that developing countries are experiencing a fourth wave of the pandemic and people are dying in the streets. We have to save lives.

    “But there’s also something that is equally important: if we are not focused on getting shots in arms in the developing world, more variants are going to come to the United States and we will face a continuing health crisis. Perhaps even more significantly, we’ll continue to experience severe economic shocks all over the world in the years to come.”

    Read more here


  • Eric LeCompte featured on The Common Good podcast about cancelling student debt

    Eric LeCompte featured on episode 921 of The Common Good Podcast entitled "Forgive Us Our Debts—Woes and Wins in Canceling Student Debt." Click here to listen to the episode.

    Episode 0921— Eric LeCompte: Forgive Us Our Debts—Woes and Wins in Canceling Student Debt

    Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

    "Student debt is a very important issue and it affects many of us, not only students but often grandparents, parents, and friends as well," said Eric LeCompte. "At the heart of all of this is the question of what kind of education should be enough and should we be ensuring that everyone receives it without putting a particular type of cost on that."

    "There's a lot of good news in terms of the reality that when we look at student debt, there are many groups that are working on it, that are concerned about it," LeCompte said. "And in particular, because of the pandemic and its economic challenges, a significant part of the US population is facing this issue and you see it in the news a lot more than before." 

    "The developing world loses a trillion dollars a year in tax evasion, tax avoidance, and corruption. Had these monies been captured, they wouldn't be experiences such a crisis," continues Eric. "Had the institutional jubilee process that we've been working on in terms of global bankruptcy that now Pope Francis endorses, had that and previous agreements been put in place after '08-'09 crisis or in 2014 or 2015, we would have the tools right now in place to stabilize our economies." 

    Listen to the entire podcast episode here.


  • The Star cites Eric LeCompte on worsening pandemic conditions in developing countries

    Eric LeCompte was featured in an article by The Star about pandemic-related losses in developing countries. Read an excerpt below and the full article here

    Poor countries to lose $12 trillion to corona by 2025 - UNCTAD

    By Victor Amadala

    Developing countries will lose $12 trillion through 2025 because they lack vaccines and the resources that wealthy countries use to stimulate their economies.

    An analysis by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows poor countries will lose a decade of development and face slow economic recovery.

    “The economic and health crisis is getting worse in most countries,” said Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert and head of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network.

    According to him, developing countries need vaccines and more resources to confront the pandemic. He added that without more aid, there is little chance that poor countries can meet development goals.

    “Debt relief must move more quickly and must include all developing countries mired in this crisis,” noted LeCompte.

    He added that developing countries that are categorized as middle-income countries, face the worst extreme poverty increases and job losses because of the pandemic.

    ''Unfortunately, these countries are currently left out of processes to cut their debts,'' LeCompte said. 

    Read more here


  • Eric LeCompte quoted in West Orlando News article on the White House COVID-19 summit

    Eric LeCompte was quoted in a West Orlando News Article covering the COVID-19 summit convened by the White House at the United Nations General Assembly. Read an excerpt below and find the full article here

    White House to Convene Global COVID-19 Summit at UN General Assembly

    By Rebecca Martin 

    President Joe Biden will convene a COVID-19 Summit during the UN General Assembly on September 22nd. The White House is asking world leaders, civil society, industry and philanthropists to make commitments to vaccinate the world, save lives and establish a health security financing mechanism.

    The Biden White House is focusing on four main themes:

    • Vaccinate the World by enhancing equitable access to vaccines and getting shots in arms.
    • Save Lives Now by solving the oxygen crisis, and making tests, therapeutics and PPE more available.
    • Build Back Better by establishing a sustainable health security financing mechanism, and global leadership for emerging threats.
    • Calling the World to Account by aligning around targets, tracking progress, and supporting one another in fulfilling our commitments.

    “The summit shows how important it is for us to act quickly,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the Jubilee USA Network. “Biden knows that if we don’t move global vaccine distribution forward this year, we’ll lose more lives and our economy will suffer across the US and around the world.”

    Read more here


  • Puerto Rico job creation bill introduced in Senate

    Companies could get tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico, under a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D) and Roger Wicker (R). If passed, the Territory Economic Development Tax Credit Act seeks to increase employment and investment in the US territories.

    “Puerto Rico needs good jobs to see long-term economic recovery,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Debt relief and natural disaster recovery aid will not be enough to reduce the island's high poverty rates. Jobs are a big part of the solution.”

    Puerto Rico religious leaders, US religious bodies and Jubilee USA Network advocate returning manufacturing jobs to the island. In February, 20 major Puerto Rico and US religious leaders asked President Biden to act on their jobs proposal.

    Last year, Puerto Rico religious leaders wrote Congress to support island pharmaceutical and personal protective equipment manufacturing to help fight COVID-19 and promote job growth. Then-President Trump expressed support for the measures. 

    “We are grateful that Senators Menendez and Wicker are leading this bipartisan action that can support economic recovery and fight poverty,” stated LeCompte.

    Read the Jubilee USA Puerto Rico and US Religious Leaders Letter to President Biden here.

    Read the Puerto Rico Religious Leader Stimulus Letter to Congress here.


  • WPFW features Olivia Engling in a segment at the Interfaith Vigil for Global COVID-19 Vaccine Access

    WPFW 89.3FM's AfricaNow! with Mwiza Munthali features Jubilee USA's Olivia Engling speaking at the Interfaith Vigil for Global COVID-19 Access. Engling speaks on actions to address global COVID-19 vaccine access. Click here to listen to the episode from 47:52 to 49:58.

    AfricaNow! Jul. 21, 2021 Voices for COVID Vaccine Access

    By Mwiza Munthali

    Selected Statements from Olivia Engling

    "In order to recover, we must move forward together. Protecting our neighbors protects us, both locally and internationally. We live in a global world, where our actions and inactions impact people everywhere."

    "Our faith traditions call on us to care for the sick and respond to the needs of the poor in our society. Thus, as people of faith, we call on President Biden and other key decision-makers to share the knowledge, technology and intellectual property to make safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, including through multilateral technology sharing initiatives."

    "Through scientists’ God-given talents, their expertise and lots of hard work, there are vaccines, vaccines which many of us here have taken, that enable us to live fuller, freer and safer lives. But God gives through us, not just to us.  We are called to be stewards and must steward this life-saving technology for the good of all."

    "While vaccine donations are helpful, the solution, the way out of the pandemic lies in enabling more countries to produce and procure vaccines."

    "We call on G7 countries to find consensus on a broad TRIPS waiver to support scaled-up production and procurement of vaccines and all pharmaceutical and medical products needed to protect the health and lives of all, but especially the most vulnerable."

    "This situation is unprecedented in our lifetimes and we need to take unprecedented action - action that is effective, global and immediate."

    Click here to listen to the episode from 47:52 to 49:58.


  • KPFA Features Eric LeCompte for Segment on the G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting

    KPFA Evening News' David Rosenberg interviews Eric Lecompte on how the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting addressed global COVID vaccine access. Click here to listen to the episode from 11:11 to 13:56. 

    The KPFA Evening News (Saturday) – July 10, 2021

    By David Rosenberg

    Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

    "There are multiple issues around global COVID response that the G20 is considering this weekend in Italy. The issue where we're seeing a lack of political will and ambition is around global vaccine distribution and production."

    "If we don't come to an agreement this year on how we can adequately get vaccines to everyone in the world, the IMF predicts that we will lose $9 trillion in the global economy and we'll continue to see mutations from the virus that will infect those who are already vaccinated in the North."

    "The big issue where the G20 should have done more but failed to do so is getting the agreement done on global vaccine access, distribution and production. It leaves any progress on this agreement up to the October G20 meetings that'll be taking place in Italy."

    "The most important thing the G20 needs to do is get the financing and resources to support global distribution and production of vaccines. That's where they fell short this meeting." 

     

    Click here to listen to the episode from 11:11 to 13:56.


  • 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.


  • AP Features Eric LeCompte on the Creation of $650 Billion Global Reserve Funds

    AP features Eric LeCompte on the IMF's decision to create $650 billion global reserve funds.

    Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    IMF approves $650 billion expansion to fight pandemic

    By Martin Crutsinger

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious-affiliated development group Jubilee USA Network, said that the IMF action would allow developing countries to immediately receive more than $200 billion in support.

    “Wealthy countries who receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries struggling through the pandemic,” LeCompte said.

    More than six months after vaccines became available, reported COVID-19 deaths worldwide have fallen to about 7,800 each day, after topping out at over 18,000 a day in January. The World Health Organization recorded just under 54,000 deaths last week, the lowest weekly total since last October.

    However, COVID-19 has illuminated global inequities as deaths worldwide climbed to 4 million, a milestone recorded Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University.

    Vaccination drives are barely getting started in Africa and other desperately poor corners of the world because of extreme shortages of shots.

    To fund the spending, the IMF will expand its Special Drawing Rights, a currency reserve that can be tapped by IMF member countries.

     

    Read more here.


  • Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7's Minimum Global Corporate Tax Rate Deal

    A Reuters article quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7 nations' discussions to create a minimum global corporate tax rate. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    UPDATE 1-G7 nations near historic deal on taxing multinationals

    By David Milliken

    Rich nations have struggled for years to agree on a way to raise more revenue from large multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, which often book profits in jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax.

    U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has given the stalled talks fresh impetus by proposing a minimum global corporation tax rate of 15%, above the level in countries such as Ireland but below the lowest level in the G7.

    "All countries face revenue loss when corporations don't pay their share in taxes," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, an alliance of organisations promoting debt relief.

    "The G7 needs to support global tax reforms so we have resources for people to get beyond this pandemic," he added.

     

    Read the full article here.


  • Devex Features Eric LeCompte on Yellen's Support for SDRs

    Devex quotes Eric LeCompte on Yellen's letter to G20. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    In Brief: US Treasury indicates support for SDRs in letter to the G-20

    By Adva Saldinger

    The likelihood of a new issuance of International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights providing liquidity to low-income countries rose dramatically Thursday as the U.S. signaled its support.

    In a letter to members of the G-20 group of nations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a new allocation of SDRs could facilitate “much-needed health and economic recovery efforts” for low-income countries and that the U.S. looks forward to “discussing potential modalities for deploying SDRs.”

    With the U.S. on board, it seems likely the G-20 will support a new issuance of SDRs. During former President Donald Trump’s administration, U.S. objections were a key hurdle. There seems to be a consensus around an issuance of at least $500 billion, which the Italian presidency of the G-20 supports. But advocates have pushed for much more — $3 trillion — and G-20 leaders are likely to wait for an IMF needs assessment before making their decision, Eric LeCompte, executive director at the Jubilee USA Network, told Devex.
    Read the full article here.

  • Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on Yellen's Support for a New SDR Allocation

    Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte on Yellen's support for a new Special Drawing Rights allocation to help poor countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Yellen backs new allocation of IMF's SDR currency to help poor nations

    By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday threw her support behind a new allocation of the IMF’s own currency, or Special Drawing Rights, but said broad parameters were needed to boost transparency on how the reserves are used and traded.

    Yellen said an SDR allocation and steps to boost low- and zero-interest lending by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank would boost efforts to contain the pandemic and mitigate its devastating impact, particularly in poor countries.

    Yellen also encouraged G20 members to use excess SDRs to support recovery efforts in low income countries, along with continued bilateral aid. She said she looked forward to discussing potential modalities for deploying SDRs.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, which has coordinated letters backing an allocation, said Yellen’s letter was “incredibly positive news.”

    Read the full article here.

     

     

     


  • U.S. News Quotes Eric Lecompte on Puerto Rico Relief

    U.S. News quotes Eric LeCompte on jobs, disaster relief and financial assistance for Puerto Rico. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    Biden Urged to End Trump Lawsuit Blocking Payments to Puerto Ricans

    By Andrea Shalal,  

    Top faith leaders from across the United States on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to immediately withdraw a lawsuit filed by his predecessor to block $2.3 billion in supplemental income payments to some 300,000 aged, blind and disabled Puerto Ricans.

    Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said the letter was intended to galvanize action by the Biden administration to help Puerto Ricans, who have faced "crisis after crisis, disaster after disaster" over the past decade.

    Read the full article here.

     


  • Reuters and New York Times Quote Eric LeCompte on G7 Global Recovery

    Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7's plans for a global economic recovery. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    U.S. tells G7 that it is back at the table to help with global recovery

    By David Lawder, William Schomberg

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told her peers from the Group of Seven rich democracies that Washington was committed to multilateralism and “places a high priority on deepening our international engagement and strengthening our alliances.” As well as the United States and Britain, the G7 includes Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

    Biden has proposed a further $1.9 trillion in spending and tax cuts on top of more than $4 trillion of coronavirus relief measures enacted by his predecessor Trump.

    “Over the last year, the G7 has not even spoken about special drawing rights, so considering that was part of this agenda, it certainly is progress,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a charity group that focuses on reducing poverty. “In terms of getting to a strong global stimulus, SDRs have to be a part of the equation.”

    Read the full article here.


  • Reuters Features Eric LeCompte on G20's Approach to Global Economic Recovery

    Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte on the G20's approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring the global economy. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    G20 determined to use all tools to contain pandemic, save jobs, incomes


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in Reuters on G20's Plan to Extended Debt Relief to Mid-2021

    Reuters quotes Eric LeCompte as the G20 endorses an extension to the freeze in poor countries' official debt service payments into mid-2021. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

    G20 to extend debt relief to mid-2021, pushes private sector to help

    Eric LeCompte, a U.N. adviser and executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said the new framework would push the private sector to get involved because it made G20 debt relief contingent on countries asking for similar treatment from private creditors, but offered no guarantees.

    He said the G20 initiative also left out countries that needed urgent help.

    “Six of the 12 countries with the highest COVID death rates are middle-income countries, which remain outside the scope of the G20 debt process,” he said.

    Read more here.