Jubilee USA Statement on G20 Finance Minister Meeting

Washington DC – Ahead of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors met on COVID response, green and inclusive recovery, debt, Special Drawing Rights and global tax agreements.

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

"New COVID mutations are the biggest risk to the global economy.

"The G20 is failing to take urgent action on financing and distribution of vaccines.

"The August creation of $650 billion in emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights, provides much needed pandemic relief. 

"The agreement to establish a Resilience and Sustainability Trust at the IMF allows wealthy countries to aid vulnerable middle-income developing countries.

"Donating Special Drawing Rights, rather than lending them, should remain on the table as countries struggle with too much debt.

"It's critical that Special Drawing Rights are transferred from wealthy countries to developing countries.

"The G20 understands that development banks need to lend more. More resources and capital need to be raised so development banks can do more.

"At this time of emergency, the IMF should stop its practice of charging penalty rates or surcharges to members with loans. 

"Debt levels grew dramatically everywhere and are a major concern in developing countries still struggling with the pandemic. 

"We are worried about the G20 debt suspension initiative and the 46 countries that need to resume payments in January.

"Developing countries are struggling with debt and are incredibly worried as central banks look to increase interest rates.

"The G20 must show that it can deliver on sufficient debt relief for struggling countries.

"The global agreement on corporate and digital taxes represents important progress to curb tax avoidance and evasion. 

"The G20 missed an opportunity to set a higher global minimum tax rate and support rules to make sure that developing countries can capture more tax revenue.

"The G20 continues to make strong connections between climate change and financial policies.

"The G20 is making a difference by pushing development banks to align their actions with the Paris Agreement on climate.

"G20 leadership is critical for the climate crisis to be addressed as part of pandemic response."