Mizraim Belman Guerrero

  • published IMF and World Bank Meetings Conclude in Press 2022-10-15 10:32:42 -0400

    IMF and World Bank Meetings Conclude

    Observers Assert that Meetings were Lost Opportunity

    Washington DC – World leaders gathered for the annual IMF and World Bank Meetings, focused on the pandemic, Ukraine war and decades-high inflation impacting the global economy. The IMF downgraded growth and forecasted losses of $4 trillion between now and 2026. Neither the G20, nor the policymaking bodies of the IMF and World Bank, reached a consensus on statements.

    "Russia's invasion of Ukraine dominated the meetings and prevented world leaders from reaching agreements to address the growing global economic crisis," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network.

    Multiple reports during the meetings focused on a likely global recession, economic downturns, inflation and climate challenges.

    "It’s hard to believe that three years into the pandemic, the economic warnings from the IMF forecast greater problems to come,” said LeCompte. “It seems we will see a global recession.”

    Developing countries struggle with high debts and interest rate hikes that drive up their debt payments.

    "As interest rates rise to tackle inflation, we could see a number of defaults in developing countries,” added LeCompte. "The financial system does not have the tools to deal with multiple debt crises.”

    Three countries applied for debt relief under a process agreed by the G20 last year and still have not received debt reductions. The Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee welcomed progress on the Zambia debt restructuring under the G20 Common Framework process.

    "Beyond some progress on Zambia’s debt restructuring, which comes with significant delay, none of the signals the G20 provided today would encourage borrowers facing debt crisis to use the Common Framework,” stated LeCompte. "Lacking a predictable path for debt relief, indebted countries choose to postpone facing their debt problems."

    IMF membership finalized details that allow a new vehicle, the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to begin loans. Three countries, Barbados, Costa Rica and Rwanda, already reached initial agreements to receive loans under the Trust, which takes Special Drawing Rights aid from wealthy countries to fund cheap climate and pandemic loans for vulnerable countries. The IMF also announced pledges of $40 billion in SDR contributions towards the Trust.

    "With the Trust already in place, the G20 should focus on similar Special Drawing Rights funding to expand development bank lending," shared LeCompte.

    In a statement to the meetings, Africa's Catholic Bishops and major faith leaders called for wealthy countries to rechannel a significant portion of their stock of more than $400 billion in Special Drawing Rights to African countries.

    “We especially want to highlight, in our region, the enormous potential of rechanneling through the African Development Bank,” the faith leaders shared.

    The IMF also passed a Food Shock Window – a temporary expansion in low-conditions, low-cost loans for countries dealing with food crises.

    Members, on the other hand, did not make decisions on the IMF penalty rates for countries taking loans. The surcharges will cost 14 developing countries $8 billion in payments during 2021-2028.

    "IMF penalty rates for countries taking loans should be suspended when so many countries need these loans for shocks that fall outside of their control,” stated LeCompte.

    Finance ministers discussed proposals to increase development bank lending. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for development banks to devise new approaches to address global challenges without sacrificing their primary poverty-reduction goals.

    "Responding to climate change and other global challenges means that development banks will need to do more,” said LeCompte. "At these meetings, we saw growing momentum to boost development banks so they can provide more aid and lending."

    According to the IMF, developing countries will need $300 billion annually in additional funding to adapt to climate change. The World Bank estimates current climate finance amounts should quadruple.

    "There is growing concern about the way the climate emergency disproportionately hurts the poor,” added LeCompte.

    Jubilee USA, IMF and World Bank Vigil and Paper Chain Delivery: Saturday, October 15th, 11:30 AM, Community Park, outside of the IMF. The chains that we will display in front of the IMF and World Bank between 11:30 AM and noon, were made by churches and synagogues across the US to send messages of debt relief to world leadersView the advisory here. Link to the online and in-person press registration here.

    Read the full African Catholic Bishops and religious leader statement here.

    Read Jubilee USA's statement on the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings here

    Read Jubilee USA's statement on the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting here

    Read Jubilee USA's statement on the IMF World Economic Outlook report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's statement on the Global Financial Stability Report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva's curtain-raiser speech here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the IMF Food Shock Window here.

    Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 750 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Press Advisory: Jubilee USA Holds IMF/World Bank Meetings Vigil, Teach-In and Press Conference this Friday and Saturday

    Photo Opportunities of hundreds of paper chains and Sukkah Raising Friday and Saturday Outside IMF and World Bank (schedule below)

    Jubilee USA, IMF and World Bank Press Conference
    Friday, October 14th, 2:15 PM
    (Press RSVP to receive Facebook live link and ask questions online)

    Who: 
     Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society; Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice; Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network 

    What: 
    Religious and development leaders hold a press conference, vigil and teach-in to comment on the IMF, World Bank, G7 and G20 meetings. The annual meetings are where consequential decisions affecting billions of people and our planet are made. In the face of shocks from the Ukraine war, the pandemic and food crisis, religious and development groups call on world leaders to support jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, economic aid and climate change solutions.
     
    Where:
    Outside IMF and World Bank, Community Park 1824-1884 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006.
     

    Schedule for Friday, October 14th
    • 10:00 AM: Raising the Sukkah
    • 2:00 PM: Opening Prayer Service
      • Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
    • 2:15 PM: Press Conference

    • 2:45 PM: Teach-In

      • Ktjel Abildnes, Norwegian Church Aid

      • Elise Bean, Director, Washington Office of Levin Center, Wayne Law, author and former lead investigator for Senator Carl Levin

      • Daniela Berdeja, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

      • Tom Cardamone, Global Financial Integrity

      • Imani Countess, US/Africa Bridge Building Project

      • Iolanda Fresnillo, European Network on Debt and Development

      • Tim Jones, Debt Justice UK

      • Matti Kohonen, Financial Transparency Coalition

      • Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

      • Katherine Marshall, Interfaith 20 and Berkley Center on Religion, Peace and World Affairs

      • Matthew Martin, Debt Relief International

      • Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

      • Rick Rowden, American University

    • 5:15 PM: Closing Prayer Service
      • Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
    Schedule for Saturday, October 15th
    • 9:00 AM: Vigil

    • 12:00 PM: Break the Chains of Debt: Paper Chains and Messages Delivered to IMF and G20

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    *In-person on-camera interviews available. Photo opportunities.*
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • IMF and World Bank Interfaith Vigil, Press Conference and Teach-in

    Protecting Lives, Livelihoods and Planet

    October 14-15, 2022

    World leaders will gather in Washington, DC for G20, G7, IMF and World Bank Meetings from October 10th - October 16th. At these meetings, they will make consequential decisions affecting billions of people and our planet. In the face of shocks from the Ukraine war, the pandemic and food crisis, we are calling on world leaders to support jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, economic aid and climate change solutions.

    Join us on Friday, October 14th for a vigilteach-in and press conference outside of the IMF, World Bank and G20 Meetings. Hear how religious and community leaders from around the world are working for a Jubilee. On Saturday morning, October 15th, we will bring thousands of paper chains to the IMF calling for debt relief and economic aid.

    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] or [email protected].
     
    Where:
    Outside IMF and World Bank, Community Park 1824-1884 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006.


    Schedule for Friday, October 14th
    • 10:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Raising the Sukkah

      • Elise Bean, Director, Washington Office of Levin Center, Wayne Law, author and former lead investigator for Senator Carl Levin

      • Abby Nash, Senior Director of Campaigns, Jubilee USA Network 

      • Yolanda Savage-Narva, Assistant Vice President, Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) for the Union for Reform Judaism

      • Damon Silvers, Special Counsel and Senior Adviser, Jubilee USA Network

    • 2:00 PM: Opening Prayer Service

      • Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

    • 2:15 PM: Press Conference

      • Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

      • Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

      • Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network

    • 2:45 PM: Teach-In
         
      Speakers include: 

      • Ktjel Abildnes, Norwegian Church Aid

      • Daniela Berdeja, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

      • Aldo Caliari, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy, Jubilee USA Network 

      • Tom Cardamone, Global Financial Integrity

      • Imani Countess, US/Africa Bridge Building Project

      • Iolanda Fresnillo, European Network on Debt and Development

      • Tim Jones, Debt Justice UK

      • Gary Kalman, Executive Director, Transparency International U.S.

      • Matti Kohonen, Financial Transparency Coalition

      • Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

      • Katherine Marshall, Interfaith 20 and Berkley Center on Religion, Peace and World Affairs

      • Matthew Martin, Debt Relief International

      • Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

      • Rick Rowden, American University

    • 5:15 PM: Closing Prayer Service

      • Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
    Schedule for Saturday, October 15th
    • 9:00 AM - 12 PM: Vigil

    • 12:00 PM: Break the Chains of Debt: Paper Chains and Messages Delivered to IMF and G20

    Register at Jubilee USA IMF/World Bank Mobilization Registration Form

    Follow the livestream here

  • IMF Provides Emergency Food Crisis Loans

    Washington DC – The IMF launches the Food Shock Window to aid countries facing food shortages by expanding access to rapid, low-interest loans. The number of people facing food shortages rose by more than 200 million since the pandemic.

    “All over the world people are struggling with food shortages because of the pandemic, the Ukraine war and soaring prices spurred by inflation,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA. "The IMF's action helps countries wrestling with food crises."

    In 45 countries, 50 million people are on the verge of famine, the World Food Programme reported.

    “The growing global food crisis can push countries into social unrest and instability,” added LeCompte. “While the Food Shock Window helps, it is only buying time. More loans as many countries struggle to pay debts is not a long-term answer."

    Sixty per cent of the poorest countries and 30 per cent of developing middle-income ones are at risk of debt crises. 

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Religious Leaders: New York Debt Bill Helps Solve Economic Crises in Developing Countries

    New York and US Taxpayers, Global Economy Benefit from Legislation

    Washington DC – Religious and labor leaders explained that New York laws can provide debt relief for countries struggling from the pandemic and shocks from the Ukraine war. Speaking at a press conference in the New York State Capitol Building, they expressed support for legislation introduced by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Banks Committee.

    “New York is the world’s global financial hub — positioning us well to enact basic changes that will ensure debt relief for developing nations through investments in sustainable growth, infrastructure and more,” said Fahy. “Not only will this legislation protect U.S. taxpayers, it will spur new development and growth within the global economy, reduce stress on international supply chains, and establish clear strategies for growth in nations burdened by massive amounts of debt.”

    The New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act (A. 10595) ensures private creditors participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors. Over 50% of the world's debt held by private creditors is contracted under New York State law.

    “The pandemic pushed many developing countries into debt and economic crises,” stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “Countries can get help resolving debt crises under New York law and the new legislation ensures countries get the relief they need. Because we trade with these countries, resolving debt crises helps resolve supply and economic shocks that we face at home.”

    At 7:00 PM ET, Jubilee USA Network hosts a panel discussion featuring Fahy and LeCompte. Speakers include, Rabbi Matthew Cutler, Congregation Gates of Heaven Synagogue; Rev. Dustin Longmire, Messiah Lutheran Church of Schenectady, New York, and former President of the New York Council of Churches; Rev. Nicolle D. Jean-Simon, Pastor of Duryee Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and NAACP President of Schenectady Branch #2175; Rev. Dr. Amaury Tanon-Santos, Executive Director of Schenectady Community Ministries and President of the Labor Religion Coalition of NY State; and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

    Watch livestream event “Funding Food, Vaccines and the Environment in Developing Nations,” at 7:00 PM ET.

    Read NYS Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s Office Press Release here.

    View the NY Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act and Bill Memo here.

    Read a previous Jubilee USA press release on the bill here.

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Executive Director Eric LeCompte Speaks with Madison Public Radio on Student Debt Cancellation

    Eric speaks with WORT 89.9 a Madison, WI public radio on student debt cancellation. Hear the full interview here

    LeCompte: How Student Debt Cancellation Affects Communities


  • Annual Federal Reserve Wyoming Meeting Hosts Central Bank Heads to Improve Global Economy

    Inflation, Recession and Developing Country Debt Top Agenda of Jackson Hole Meeting

    Washington DC – The future of interest rates and the threat of stagflation – a phenomenon where the economy and jobs shrink while inflation rises -- dominate the agenda at a three-day global central bank retreat starting on Thursday. This year’s traditional Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium gathers the US Federal Reserve and other world central banks under the theme "Reassessing Constraints on the Economy and Policy."

    “The meeting is focused on trying to tame inflation without causing more harm for developing countries in crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the development group Jubilee USA Network. “We are reminded by the challenging decisions world leaders faced with the economy in the 1970s. At this point with greater threats to the global economy, we are in uncharted waters."

    The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates more than two percentage points since the beginning of the year and consumer prices rose the fastest in four decades. The combination of interest rate increases and a strong dollar raises debt levels in developing countries. In July the IMF reported that debt in 60 percent of the poorest countries and 30 percent of emerging middle-income economies reached critically-high levels.

    “While lowering inflation is important, we need to keep in mind the global impacts of increased debt, food crises and supply shocks that can undermine the economic stability we hoped to achieve through lower inflation,” shared LeCompte.

    On Friday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addresses the Jackson Hole meeting.

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Biden Cancels Student Debts and Extends Loan Payment Suspension

    Washington DC – The Biden Administration announced plans to cancel $10,000 in student debt for borrowers earning under $125,000 a year. Borrowers who received a college federal Pell grant, given to students that have the greatest need, qualify for up to $20,000 in student debt relief. The White House action extended a freeze on student loan payments that President Trump initiated in 2020 as part of pandemic relief. This is the fifth time President Biden continued the moratorium on student debt payments.

    “President Biden’s historical student debt cancellation is a bold step that goes beyond previous support and will help vulnerable communities,“ said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of religious group Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's organization advocated for the student relief measures with the Biden and Trump White House. “Soaring food and gas prices are putting more pressure on vulnerable communities still reeling from the pandemic.”  

    Jubilee USA mobilized thousands of messages to Congress and the Trump and Biden White Houses urging student debt relief to help confront the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus.

    “While the student loan forgiveness helps those hit by the pandemic and inflation, more student debt relief will be needed,” added LeCompte. 

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • G20 Finance Ministers Meeting Focuses on Response to Global Economic Crises

    Washington DC  On Friday, G20 finance ministers descend on Bali, Indonesia, to discuss a global economy impacted by the pandemic, Ukraine war, high country debt levels and rising inflation. Food shortages, climate and tax issues will also be on the agenda at the two-day talks.

    “Developing countries lack the resources to confront economic crises and food shortages,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “The G20 must act quickly to prevent a recession and address food and debt crises."

    The World Bank warns that due to the impacts of the pandemic and the Ukraine war, average incomes in 40% of developing countries will remain below 2019 levels.

    "Rising interest rates mean developing countries have higher debt payments just when they need to invest more to protect their people,” added LeCompte. “Countries need debt relief, not more debt."

    Three countries applied to a G20 debt reduction process created in 2020 and have yet to see any debt relief.

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    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • G7 Summit Focuses on Global Crisis Response, Ukraine War, Food Security and Climate

    Leaders Urge Debt Relief for Developing Countries

    African Religious Groups Call on G7 to Address Poverty

    Washington DC  In a concluding statement of the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps, the group addressed the global economy, the COVID crisis, the Ukraine war, climate, debt and vaccines. Presidents and prime ministers of the G7 highlighted the urgency to improve debt relief frameworks and address debt vulnerabilities. 

    "Debt relief is critical as developing countries struggle with the pandemic and food shortages due to the Ukraine war," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “The G7 noted the importance for China and the private sector to participate in debt relief processes so developing countries can withstand current crises."

    Up to 73 of the world’s poorest countries can seek debt relief through a G20 process. To date, Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia applied for the debt relief framework. 

    "The G20 debt relief process needs to be implemented more quickly," stated LeCompte. "We need the process expanded to cover other countries in need like Sri Lanka."

    In May, the New York State Assembly began consideration of a bill that requires private creditors, which hold the majority of developing country debt, to join in relief deals. The legislation would apply to the more than 50% of the world's private debt contracts because they are issued under New York law.

    “Legislation adopted by G7 countries can ensure the private sector and commercial banks participate in debt relief,” added LeCompte.

    In a statement addressed to G7 leaders, the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Catholic Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) warned about the deteriorating debt situation on the continent.

    “Worsening global conditions and rising interest rates will push more African countries to make impossible choices between saving lives and jobs or paying creditors,” stated Bishop Sithembele Siphuka, First Vice-President of SECAM and Commission Chair.

    The G7 launched an infrastructure plan that plans to tackle developing countries taking on too much debt. Pledging $600 billion in developing country infrastructure by 2027, the terms and quality of projects under the Global Partnership for Infrastructure and Investment seek to keep debt levels in check.

    "The G7 plan to invest in countries from Angola to the Ivory Coast means less debt and positive economic returns for developed and developing countries,” shared LeCompte. "The G7's investment in sustainable infrastructure is good news for developing countries."

    Leaders focused on the global food crisis pledging an additional $4.5 billion to protect the vulnerable from hunger and malnutrition. The war in Ukraine worsened food shortages and more than 193 million people face hunger.

    On climate, the G7 announced the creation of a “Climate Club." The club or group of countries would focus on actions to meet climate goals. The G7 renewed pledges to deliver $100 billion in annual funds to address climate change through 2025.

    "The Ukraine war, pandemic and climate crisis are a triple threat that developing countries don't have the resources to combat,” expressed LeCompte.

    Read the full G7 communiqué here

    Read the African Catholic Bishops' statement to G7 leaders here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G7 finance ministers meeting here.


  • G7 Summit Focuses on Ukraine War, Pandemic, Climate, Vaccines and Debt

    Gathering in Bavarian Alps, President Biden and G7 Prime Ministers Confront Global Inflation, Food Security and Economic Crises

    Washington DC  On Sunday, G7 presidents and prime ministers begin their three-day summit under the German Presidency. Meeting at the Schloss Elmau resort, the leaders deliberate on the pandemic, Ukraine war, food shortages, vaccines and climate issues.

    “We are dealing with crisis on top of global crisis,” shared Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert. “Most countries were struggling to get through the pandemic and couldn't confront the challenges of climate change. Now the Ukraine war is creating a growing food crisis for many of those same countries.”

    In a petition to G7 leaders, more than 50 African religious leaders asked for relief measures for the continent struggling with food, climate and health crises. Jubilee USA worked with religious leaders in Africa on the statement. Signers of the statement include Bishops and representatives from the Catholic Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, Caritas Africa, the Church of Pentecost in Ghana and the All Africa Conference of ChurchesIn addition to other measures, the religious leaders requested “debt relief initiatives for African countries, and . . . measures, including domestic legislation, to compel full public and private creditor participation and transparency.”

    Legislation currently before New York State lawmakers requires private creditors to provide debt relief at the same level that governments and public institutions provide to struggling countries. More than 60% of developing country debt is in private sector hands.

    “Inflation, economic shocks and food shortages are all tied to the debt crises developing countries are facing,” stated LeCompte. “The single most meaningful commitment the G7 could make is to support legislation in G7 countries that ensures private and commercial lenders contribute to debt relief."

    While debt and inflation will be key focuses of the upcoming meetings, leaders are set to endorse a global initiative for food security and a plan to address climate change.

    “G7 countries hold about $400 billion in emergency pandemic currency that could be given to development banks and used to tackle climate and food challenges,” noted LeCompte.

    The International Monetary Fund created $650 billion in emergency currency known as Special Drawing Rights for coronavirus relief last year. The majority of these funds were received by developed countries who can donate the funds to developing countries. Several of these wealthy countries pledged $60 billion of their Special Drawing Rights to fund IMF cheap loans to developing countries.

    Read the African religious leaders' petition to G7 leaders here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G7 finance ministers meeting here.

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • African Religious Leaders Release Statements in the Occasion of G7 Schloss Elmau Summit

    Statement to G7 by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). Read the statement here

     

     

    Petition to G7 Heads of State and Government signed by 50 African Religious Leaders from 14 countries. Read the letter here.

     


  • World Trade Organization Vaccine Decision Won't Do Enough to Address the Pandemic in Developing Countries, Says Development Group

    Washington DC – Ministers of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries agreed on a limited waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents to help developing countries acquire coronavirus vaccines.

    For countries struggling to protect their people against continued COVID outbreaks, this decision won't do enough," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. “After more than two years of a pandemic that cost millions of lives, developing countries need a suspension of multiple WTO rules in order to boost access to vaccines, tests and treatments."

    Meeting for the first time since 2017, the WTO Ministerial lasted an additional day due to difficulties in achieving a consensus. In certain circumstances, the new decision allows developing countries to make vaccines without having to seek the vaccine patent owner’s approval. Development groups argue that similar vaccine approvals already largely exist, in WTO rules before this deal. 

    The International Monetary Fund estimates that more than 100 countries will fail to reach vaccination targets to contain the pandemic globally. WTO members agreed to negotiate possible extensions of the waiver for tests and treatments within six months.

    “Tests and treatments should have been part of the same package," added LeCompte. "Access to tests, treatments and vaccines is essential to limit the threat of new and deadlier mutations that can affect all of us.” 

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Aldo Caliari Discusses NY Private Creditor Debt Legislation in Financial Times

    In a letter that appeared in the Financial Times, Aldo Caliari, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy, explains how the recently-introduced NY Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act could bind private creditors into sovereign debt restructurings, and why we need it. Read the full letter here


  • New York Legislation Resolves Developing Country Debt Crises and Protects US Taxpayers

    Bill Can Ease Global Supply Shocks and Help Vulnerable People Weather Pandemic and Ukraine Economic Shocks

    Washington DC  A New York State Assembly bill requires private creditors to join debt relief initiatives for developing nations struggling with debt crises, the pandemic and Ukraine war-related economic shocks. The New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act, was introduced in May by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Banks Committee. 

    “This legislation will help resolve debt in developing countries more easily, many of whom are reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine invasion,” said Fahy. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation and require that private creditors join in debt relief funding deals for developing countries to resolve financial and debt crises. While you might not know it, most of the world’s private debt is arbitrated here in New York, and this legislation will provide much needed debt relief across the board.”

    Over 50% of the world's debt held by private creditors is contracted under New York State law. Fahy's bill ensures private creditors participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors.

    In the first year of the pandemic, developing country debt rose by five times the average increase of previous years. Under the leadership of the Trump and Biden Administrations, G20 countries established a process that allows up to 73 of the world’s poorest countries to obtain debt relief from all creditors. Although the G20 and US government were clear that private creditors should provide debt relief, private creditors have not announced any debt relief agreements to date.

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the IMF consider pandemic-related economic disruptions are partly responsible for record-high inflation in the US. Supporters of the legislation assert that US and New York residents benefit from the bill.

    “People living in New York and across the United States face supply shocks and health risks because of crises in developing countries,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's bipartisan organization won numerous global debt relief agreements over the group's 25 year history. “Other countries whose courts settle debt disputes should follow Assemblymember Fahy’s leadership and implement similar critical initiatives.”

    While the majority of the world's private sector and bank debt is contracted under New York law, more than 40% is contracted under United Kingdom laws. The remaining portion is mostly held by Germany, France, Japan, Singapore, Belgium and Australia.

    "This New York State bill is modeled after highly successful legislation in the UK, to ensure that taxpayer money sent to feed the hungry is not diverted to pay creditors," said Georgetown Law professor Anna Gelpern, who participated in discussions on this legislation. "The new law would be an important addition to the crisis management toolkit at a time when debts in countries are at critical levels, and governments are struggling to meet their citizens' basic human needs. A transparent, coordinated, equitable debt resolution process is essential to get us through this period." 

    View the NY Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act and Bill Memo here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the introduction of the bill here

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • G7 Presses China and Private Creditors on Debt Relief

    Ukraine War, Debt and Inflation were Focuses of the G7 Meeting

    Washington DC – G7 finance ministers issued their strongest statement to date pressing China and the private sector to engage in debt relief efforts for developing countries. Germany, holding the G7 presidency this year, hosted the meetings in Bonn and Königswinter.

    “The G7 put the spotlight on the need for China and the private sector to participate in debt relief initiatives,” noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte has monitored the G7 meetings for more than a decade.

    G7 countries stressed the need for private creditors to participate in debt relief. On Thursday, New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy introduced the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act. The bill compels private creditors operating under New York State law to participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors.

    “New York legislative action ensures private creditors will participate in the debt relief that the G7 is calling for,” added LeCompte.

    The G7 pledged to support Sri Lanka debt restructuring efforts as the developing country became the latest one to default.

    “The fact that Sri Lanka is not covered by current debt relief agreements shows the urgency of expanding relief initiatives to more countries facing crises,” stated LeCompte.

    The Ukraine war, inflation, food and climate action were key aspects of the three-day meetings. G7 presidents and heads of state meet in Schloss Elmau, Germany in June.

    Read our press release on the newly-introduced New York Private creditor bill here.

    Read the full G7 Finance Ministers Communiqué here.



  • New York Legislation Focuses on Pandemic Aid for Developing Countries and Requires Private Creditors Join in Debt Relief Deals for Poor Nations

    US Taxpayers, Consumers and Economy Poised to Benefit from Action

    Washington DC  A newly introduced bill in New York State aims to help resolve debt and economic crises that developing countries face in the wake of the pandemic.

    "Most of the world's private debt is contracted and arbitrated under New York State law," noted Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development coalition, Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte serves on United Nations debt working groups. "As most countries face terrible economic and debt crises due to the pandemic and the Ukraine war, decisions made in New York will impact how developing countries can resolve their debt crises."

    Under the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act, private creditors would participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors. State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy sponsors the legislation introduced on Thursday.

    The supporters of the legislation point out that the bill will benefit New York residents too.

    “The bill addresses debt crises in developing countries, protects US taxpayers and helps limit economic and supply shocks,” said LeCompte whose organization has won more than $130 billion in debt relief initiatives for poor countries.

    The pandemic accelerated economic crises in developing countries, which saw debt rise in 2020 by five times the average increase of previous years. The US led the G20 to create a process that allows up to 73 of the world’s poorest countries to obtain debt relief from all creditors. Currently, Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia have requested relief from the G20 Common framework process. The newly-introduced bill requires that all private creditors who fall under New York State law participate in the G20 and other international relief processes.

    “Debt relief is longstanding US policy with bipartisan support,” added LeCompte. “Facing the pandemic in developing countries and ensuring long-term financial stability requires that all creditors support debt relief."

    Private creditors hold more than 60% of debt of developing countries. Research shows that when debt restructurings take place, private creditors receive on average 20% more than their public taxpayer-funded peers.

    “Resolving debt crises is about protecting people in developing countries and protecting against inflation and the other impacts these crises have on our own economy,” shared LeCompte.

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the IMF consider pandemic-related economic disruptions, later worsened with the Ukraine war, are behind rapid price rises hitting consumers in the US and other wealthy economies. US inflation reached a four-decade high in March. 

    View the NY Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act and Bill Memo here.

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • Biden, G7, G20 Host Second COVID Summit

    Leaders Pledge Vaccines, Treatments and Health Investment

    Washington, DC – President Biden hosted heads of state and philanthropy and private sector leaders for a second summit on COVID-19 response. At the virtual gathering, leaders of over 35 countries pledged actions to vaccinate 70% of the world population, expand access to tests and treatments and invest in global health security.

    “Too many developing countries lack access to vaccines, treatments and medical equipment to fight the coronavirus,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “The White House is playing a vital coordinating role for a global response to the health crises spurred by the pandemic.”

    President Biden co-hosted the summit with chairs of the G7, G20, the African Union and CARICOM. In September, the Biden Administration organized the first COVID summit, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

    The World Health Organization estimates 15 million people have died due to the coronavirus. In Africa, only 12% of the population is fully vaccinated. 

    Continued spread of the virus keeps alive the threat of new mutations that could be more lethal or elude vaccines," added LeCompte. "Now developing countries are also dealing with food and fuel challenges because of the war in Ukraine. Without more aid and debt relief, many countries won't have the resources to confront the pandemic or prepare for future health threats."

    The US pledged additional funds for a proposed global pandemic fund at the World Bank that the G20 supports, bringing the US total pledges to $450 million. At the meeting World Bank chief David Malpass announced he expects to launch the fund, which collected almost $1 billion in commitments, in June.

    Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to deliver one billion vaccines to developing countries, half of which the US already sent.

    “While vaccine distribution played into the conference, much of the focus was on preparing for future health crises,” stated LeCompte.

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
    [email protected] / (202) 430-6975


  • AFL-CIO/Jubilee Ukraine Pandemic Barron's Commentary

    Eric LeCompte and Cathy Feingold, the Deputy President of the ITUC and International Director of the AFL-CIO, writing for Barron's call for global economic policies in response to the Ukraine war and the health and economic crises severely impacting most of the world due to the pandemic. . Read the full article here.

    A Resilient Global Economy Is Within Reach

    By Eric LeCompte and Cathy Feingold

    War rages in Ukraine and a global crisis looms. Gas prices rise and around the world, wheat, corn and fertilizer prices skyrocket. The International Monetary Fund says the global economy will slow, contributing to food shortages in developing countries. Russia’s war on Ukraine combined with Covid-19 made a terrible global situation worse. There are economic policies that Republican and Democratic leaders can find common ground with the Biden administration to make the U.S. and global economy more resilient in the face of these threats.

    Before the war, the pandemic revealed the catastrophic consequences of persistent global poverty and inequality for everyone—not just the poor. In response, U.S. economic strategy must focus on transparency, democracy, and what Pope Francis calls “a preferential option for the poor.”

    The Ukraine crisis shows what a difference U.S. leadership makes. As the world suffers impacts from the war and pandemic, our country can and must be the respected neighbor whom others look to in a crisis. We can bring other countries together to help ensure our global future is peaceful, prosperous and democratic. Covid shows that public health is global—when some of us are vulnerable to the disease, we all are. The same is true of economic prosperity. With supply and economic shocks, U.S. prosperity depends on global prosperity.