Mizraim Belman Guerrero

  • 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.

     


  • Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on African Bishop Statement

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

    African bishops call for world leaders to reject ‘unequal and unsustainable’ economic model

    By John Lavenburg

    NEW YORK – As world finance leaders meet this week in Washington, D.C., African bishops are calling for a “viable” plan for the continent to emerge from the current economic and health crisis with “resilience,” and for decisions that promote an economically just society.

    “As we work for recovery, we are not doing so in order to return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth as millions live below the poverty line,” said an April 20 statement from the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

    Emerging markets and developing economies will bear the brunt of the forecasted challenges. However, Eric LeCompte, executive director for Jubilee USA Network, told Crux that the reports are actually “really bad news for all of the countries of the world.”


  • Development Group says IMF Meetings Failed on Critical Decisions

    Ukraine War Derails Release of IMF and G20 Communiques

    Washington DC  World leaders attending the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings failed to agree on communiques usually issues during these meetings. On Wednesday, G20 finance ministers failed to release a communiqué over Ukraine wording. On Thursday, the International Monetary and Financial Committee failed to release their communiqué and as of the writing of this article, the Development Committee did not release their customary Friday communiqué.

    The war in Ukraine loomed large at the meetings, as the Fund forecast it will cut almost an entire percentage point to global economic growth this year. Talks addressed COVID response and recovery, food prices, inflation, debt crises and climate.

    “Before the shocks from the Ukraine war, developing countries faced a series of crises,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Another casualty of the war is that world leaders can’t fully focus on pandemic response, inflation, climate change and rising poverty rates.”

    The shock threatens a fragile pandemic recovery, with more than 100 countries not on track to vaccinate 70% of their people. Rising food and fuel price inflation will add to the 100 million people that fell into poverty since the pandemic.

    “Developing countries now have little room to protect their most vulnerable from rising food prices,” added LeCompte. "The pandemic and the Ukraine war are making food, fuel and fertilizer inaccessible to many developing countries."

    In the face of war impacts and rising interest rates, a growing number of countries face debt defaults. Three countries applied to the G20 debt reduction process set up in late 2020, and none of them has received relief.

    “The discussion on debt remains perhaps the most difficult in the G20,” shared LeCompte. “The IMF and World Bank leadership put forward valuable and practical proposals to move forward debt relief, but no decisions were made on the proposals.”

    IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced that twelve countries made pledges worth $40 billion in their share of emergency currency funds or Special Drawing Rights – to help developing countries. The Resilience and Sustainability Trust, approved by the IMF last week, will administer the contributions and disbursements to developing countries.

    “The IMF trust is an example of how wealthy countries can aid developing countries in pandemic prevention and dealing with the impacts of climate change,” stated LeCompte. "Unfortunately, the meetings failed to make decisions on vaccine distribution and economic aid for struggling developing countries."

    At the meetings, the World Bank gained G20 backing to set up a new fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
    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 and Press Conference this Friday:

    IMF and World Bank Vigil
    Friday April 22nd, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Edward R Murrow Park 1872-1842 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

    What: 
    World leaders gather in Washington for IMF and World Bank Meetings. Jubilee USA is hosting an outdoor vigil and press conference as leaders decide on next steps to confront the Ukraine war, pandemic, the food crisis, jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, climate change and rising poverty.
     
    Where:
    Edward R Murrow Park 1872-1842 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006.


    Schedule for Friday, April 22nd
    • 11:00 AM: Vigil for Funding Vaccines, Debt Relief, Jobs and Aid for Developing Countries
    • 12:00 PM: Prayer and Reflection
    • 12:15 PM: Press Conference
      • Eric LeCompte - Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network 
      • Cathy Feingold - Director of the International Department, AFL-CIO

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


  • IMF Fails to Agree on Key Meeting Communiqué

    Jubilee USA Releases Statement on World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings

    Washington, DC – The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF policymaking body, failed to issue it's yearly communiqué during the IMF and World Bank meetings. Instead, the chair of the IMFC issued a separate statement. The IMFC met on COVID response and recovery, the impacts of the Ukraine war on the global economy, food prices, inflation, debt crises and climate.

    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 IMFC meeting, IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings:

    "Another casualty of the Ukraine war is that world leaders can't fully focus on pandemic response, inflation, climate change and rising poverty rates.

    "Before the shocks from the Ukraine war, developing countries faced a series of crises. The war in Ukraine makes a terrible situation even worse.

    "The IMF reports that the shock of the Ukraine war threatens a fragile COVID recovery.

    "In more than 100 countries that are not on track to vaccinate 70% of their population, the pandemic is far from over.

    "The meetings failed to make progress on access to vaccines, tests and treatments in the poorest countries.

    "The war compounds pandemic supply chain shocks and fuels further inflation.

    "Amidst ongoing health and economic impacts of COVID, developing countries now have little room to protect their most vulnerable from rising food prices.

    "With growing food crises, we are worried about social unrest which could destabilize some countries.

    "We expect rising interest rates and the repercussions of the Ukraine war to make more countries unable to service their debts.

    "As shocks mount, the number of countries facing debt defaults keeps rising.

    "We needed the G20 to urgently agree on ways to fix the shortcomings of their debt reduction process.

    "The IMF and World Bank leadership put forward valuable and practical proposals for G20 Common Framework reform before these meetings, but we do not see decisions on them. 

    "The IMF approved the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to provide climate and pandemic preparedness in vulnerable countries.

    "Wealthy countries need to fully fund the new IMF trust.

    "Energy and food security concerns could derail the urgent action needed to halt climate change."

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


  • published African Bishops IMF, SDRs, Debt, Aid in Press 2022-04-20 17:00:50 -0400

    African Catholic Bishops Urge IMF and World Bank to Support Systems that Build Inclusive Society

    Africa Needs Debt Relief and Aid for Development Progress, Explain Religious Leaders

    Washington, DC – Wealthy countries should direct more of their emergency currency funds, or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), to help African countries emerge from the crisis and resume development progress, said the body that represents Catholic Bishops from the region. In a statement “Financing Crisis Recovery with Hope for the most Vulnerable in Africa,” the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) addressed leaders attending the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings. Bishop Sithembele Siphuka, First Vice President of SECAM and Commission Chair, signed the statement.

    “We call on G20 Finance Ministers and other world leaders . . . to put in place viable plans for Africa to emerge from the crisis with resilience and resume progress towards [global development and climate goals],” said the bishops.

    The statement highlights that Africa is home to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor and the pandemic pushed 40 million more Africans into extreme poverty, lacking access to basic goods and services like health, education, food, water. The Ukraine war impacts on food and energy prices will add to their hardship.

    “Religious leaders in Africa are calling for changes in the financial system that will benefit the most vulnerable,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Jubilee USA Network partners with religious leaders on international economic and development policies. “The African bishops inspire decision makers to act in the face of rising poverty and debt in Africa.”

    To support global pandemic recovery, the IMF last year created $650 billion SDRs.

    “We welcome these resources which are fast, without conditions and add little or no debt, but are concerned that out of this amount, only $33 billion went to African countries,” the bishops shared.

    The G20 committed to a target of $100 billion in wealthy countries’ SDR contributions to fund developing countries. The IMF Board last week approved a new fund that could use up to $45 billion SDR contributions to provide developing country low-cost loans.

    The statement recommendations also addressed the debt crisis in the continent. Debt as a proportion of the economy in Africa rose from 60 to 70% in the first year of the pandemic.

    “African countries did not have means to mobilize sufficient resources for responding to the pandemic, and had to make impossible choices between saving lives and jobs, or paying creditors,” the prelates stated. They called on world leaders to “coordinate efforts to bring together public and private creditors to create mechanisms to reduce the unbearable debt burdens many countries in our region continue to face.”

    The faith leaders asked for measures to prevent future debt crises, promote transparency and provide sufficient aid.

    Read full African Catholic Bishops' statement to World Bank/IMF Spring meetings here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here.

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



  • Ukraine War and Pandemic Drive High Food Prices, Inflation, Global Finance Risks

    World Leaders Gather for G20, IMF and World Bank Meetings

    Washington, DC – As world leaders descend for IMF, G20 and World Bank Meetings, the IMF forecasts high food prices, inflation and lower global growth due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

    "The pandemic and Ukraine war are significantly hurting poor people who live in the poorest countries,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who has monitored IMF meetings since 2010. “The shock of the Ukraine war hits as most countries were still struggling with health and economic crises spurred by the pandemic.”

    Inflation is a central concern in the World Economic Outlook report, with the war-driven high food and energy prices adding to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Another concern are lagging vaccination rates in poor countries that make virus mutations a continuing risk to the global outlook.

    “We are failing to meet global vaccination targets and that means the coronavirus will persist all over the world." noted LeCompte. "We need better tools to deal with debt crisis and prevent future financial crises."

    In its Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF discussed concerns on the war impacts on financial markets. The flagship report also underscored that energy and food security concerns put at risk efforts to halt climate change.

    "The IMF is right that a solution to the multiple crises should include peace in Ukraine, aid to countries in need, addressing climate change and solving debt crises," stated LeCompte.

    A full chapter of the report focuses on the risks stemming from high volumes of sovereign debt owed to banks.

    “When these banks are based in a country facing a debt crisis, the crisis is more significant when you can't pay back the banks of your nation,” explained LeCompte.

    Read Jubilee USA's Statement on the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here

    Read the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report here.

    Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here.

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

    Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

    Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
    Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director

  • IMF Global Financial Stability Report Raises Concerns with Ukraine War, Domestic Debt and Fintech

    Jubilee USA Network Releases Statement on Report and IMF Meetings

    Washington DC – The IMF releases the 2022 Global Financial Stability Report raising concerns about Ukraine war impact, debt and risky business deals of financial technical firms.

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who has monitored IMF meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMF Global Financial Stability Report and the upcoming IMF meetings:

    "Among the many threats to financial stability, we are most concerned by the Ukraine war, the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic, climate challenges and serious debt crises.

    "The reports lays out concerns around how much sovereign debt is owed to banks. When these banks are based in a country facing a debt crisis, the crisis is more significant when you can't pay back the banks of your nation.

    "Energy self-reliance for a country is clearly connected to renewable sources of energy.

    "Rising inflation and tougher financial markets hit developing countries at a time when they still struggle with health and economic COVID crises.

    "The IMF foresees energy and food security concerns will put at risk efforts to halt climate change.

    "Digital banks and fintech companies need clear rules and more accountability to operate in the financial system without creating more risks to economic stability."

    Read the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here.

    Read the Jubilee USA Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report here.

    Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here

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

    Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

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


  • Jubilee USA Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report

    Ukraine War and Pandemic Drive High Food Prices and Inflation

    Washington DC – The IMF releases its flagship World Economic Outlook report. Faced with the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, the IMF forecasts lower global growth.

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who monitored IMF meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMF Meetings and World Economic Outlook Report:

    "The Ukraine war is causing high food prices and global inflation.

    "Before the war in Ukraine, most countries were still struggling with health and economic crises spurred by the pandemic.

    "The pandemic and Ukraine war are significantly hurting poor people who live in the poorest countries.

    “Lagging vaccinations in the poorest countries means virus mutations remain a risk to the global economic outlook."

    "Beyond the Ukraine war and the pandemic, we have unsustainable debts and shocks from climate change that make the current situation impossible for many developing countries.

    "The IMF is right that a solution to the multiple crises should include peace in Ukraine, solving debt crises, aid to countries in need and addressing climate change."

    Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here

    Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here

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

    Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

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