Olivia Engling published Puerto Rico Medicaid Funding Advances in Congress in Press 2021-07-16 20:18:44 -0400
Permanent Fix Needed for 1.5 million US Citizens, Asserts Religious Development Group
Washington DC – Medicaid funding for 1.5 million US citizens living in Puerto Rico expires on September 30, if Congress doesn't act. A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that Congress could enact to fund the health program for the next five years.
“Poor and vulnerable people living in Puerto Rico rely on Medicaid," said Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “If Congress does not act quickly, the impact will be devastating for Puerto Rico as the island wrestles with debt crisis, COVID and disaster recovery."
While the federal government contributes a specific percentage of Medicaid expenses for states, Puerto Rico and other US territories receive a smaller, fixed grant amount.
“While fixing the funding shortfall for five years is critical, Puerto Rico needs a permanent, long-term fix,” shared LeCompte.
In February, Jubilee USA and 19 heads of US and Puerto Rico major religious bodies signed a letter to President Biden asking for expansion and full funding of Medicaid and other child poverty relief programs. The letter signers represent leaders from the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical churches as well as the US and Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities, Caritas and the General Bible Society.
Read Jubilee USA's Puerto Rico Religious Leader Letter to President Biden here.
Olivia Engling published Front Page Africa Features Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on the IMF's Approval of Aid to Poor Countries in Press 2021-07-12 16:29:28 -0400
Front Page Africa Features Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on the IMF's Approval of Aid to Poor Countries
Eric LeCompte and Jubilee USA featured in Front Page Africa on the IMF's decision to allocate $650 billion global reserve funds, $350 million of which would benefit Liberia. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Liberia to Benefit US$350M from IMF US$16Bn Aid to Poor Countries for Post-Covid Recovery
Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit organization that advocates debt relief for poor countries, praised the move by the I.M.F. and called on wealthy countries to do more to help.
“This is the biggest creation of emergency reserve funds that we’ve ever seen, and developing countries will immediately receive more than $200 billion,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network. “Wealthy countries who receive emergency reserves they don’t need should transfer those resources to developing countries struggling through the pandemic.”
The I.M.F., the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization have created a new vaccine task force and called for an additional $50 billion investment to broaden access to supplies. The groups have also called on G20 countries to set a goal of having 40 percent of their populations vaccinated by the end of this year and 60 percent by the middle of next year.
Read more here.
Olivia Engling published Reuters Features Eric LeCompte on Global Vaccine Access in Press 2021-07-12 10:20:48 -0400
Eric LeCompte is featured in Reuters on the need for universal vaccine access. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story,
Virus variants threaten global recovery, G20 warns
By Gavin Jones, Leigh Thomas
An upsurge in new coronavirus variants and poor access to vaccines in developing countries threaten the global economic recovery, finance ministers of the world’s 20 largest economies warned on Saturday.
Italy said it the G20 would return to the issue of vaccine funding for poor countries ahead of a Rome summit in October and that new variants was an area that needed to be looked at. It did not give further details.
“We must agree on a process for everyone on the planet to be able to access vaccines. If we don’t, the IMF predicts that the global economy will lose $9 trillion,” religious development organization Jubilee USA Network said.
It was referring to an IMF forecast that international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines could speed world economic recovery and add $9 trillion to global income by 2025.
Read more here.
Olivia Engling published Jubilee USA Statement on G20 Finance Ministers Meeting and Communiqué in Press 2021-07-10 12:21:26 -0400
Washington DC - G20 finance ministers and central bank governors met in Venice, Italy, on COVID response, economic recovery, vaccines, debt relief and global tax agreements on July 9-10, 2021.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the G20 finance ministers meeting and communiqué:
“While the G20 is making critical progress in many COVID response areas, vaccine distribution and production is not moving quickly enough.
"At the next G20 meetings in October, we must agree on a process for everyone on the planet to be able to access vaccines. If we don't, the IMF predicts that the global economy will lose $9 trillion.
“Rising US interest rates mean more countries could be unable to pay their debts and the G20 and IMF will deal with even more defaults.
“The G20 is asserting that the private sector must offer adequate debt relief for any countries that apply for the G20 debt relief process.
“We welcome the G20's endorsement of creating $650 billion in emergency reserve funds or Special Drawing Rights by the end of the summer. Developing countries will receive more than $200 billion in new resources when the IMF takes a final vote.
"More than $400 billion of these new Special Drawing Rights reserve funds will go to wealthy countries.
"The G20 calls for an ambitious target for donating the Special Drawing Rights that rich countries receive to vulnerable countries. Unfortunately, there is no concrete amount for how much wealthy countries should donate to vulnerable countries.
"We must quickly agree on Special Drawing Rights donation vehicles to support all developing and vulnerable countries to access these resources to fight poverty, climate change and the coronavirus health crisis.
“The G20 is right to call on development banks to do more, but the G20 must also be clear on how we can inject much more capital into these banks so they can do more.
“The G20 agreement on global minimum corporate and digital tax is incredibly exciting progress on closing loopholes for tax evasion and avoidance.
“In upcoming tax agreement negotiations, we must do more to increase the benefits for developing countries.
“The G20 is aligning climate change action goals with the Paris Climate Agreement. This will help spur greater action during the November climate meetings the United Kingdom is hosting.
“International cooperation on climate targets and carbon prices needs to account for the impacts on the most vulnerable countries and people.”
Olivia Engling published IMF Executive Board Approves Creation of $650 Billion Global Reserve Funds in Press 2021-07-09 09:58:43 -0400
Critical COVID Aid Could Reach Developing Countries in August
Washington DC – The International Monetary Fund Executive Board agreed to create $650 billion of emergency currency known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to help countries deal with the fallout from the coronavirus health and economic crises. The IMF’s main governing body, the Board of Governors, will take a final vote in coming weeks to move forward the SDRs creation. In a statement, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva indicated she expects the allocation as soon as August.
“This is the biggest creation of emergency reserve funds that we've ever seen and developing countries will immediately receive more than $200 billion,“ said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network, that worked on the creation of the emergency currency since March of 2020.
In June, G7 leaders called for a global effort to mobilize $100 billion of SDRs for vaccines, protecting the environment and poverty reduction.
“Wealthy countries who receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries struggling through the pandemic,” added LeCompte.
In February, Jubilee USA Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen and President Biden expressing support for a new $3 trillion SDR allocation. In March, Jubilee USA Network organized a roundtable with high-ranking religious leaders and Yellen that focused on SDRs. Jubilee USA Network also coordinated organizational letters targeting G20 leaders, the White House and the IMF, that gathered more than 200 signatures in support of SDRs.
Read IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's statement on SDR allocation here.
Read Jubilee USA's G20 COVID Response letter with over 265 signatories here.
Read Jubilee USA's statement on the G7 Summit and communiqué here.
Read Jubilee USA and US Conference of Catholic Bishops joint letter to the White House here.
View the agenda and read about the Jubilee USA Treasury High-Level Religious Leader Roundtable here.
Olivia Engling published G20 Finance Ministers Meet in Venice on Global COVID Response in Press 2021-07-08 19:04:53 -0400
Nearly 270 groups Call on G20 to Curb Tax Avoidance, Support Debt Relief and COVID Healthcare
Washington DC – G20 finance ministers begin two-day meetings in Italy on Friday on COVID response, economic recovery, vaccines, debt relief and global tax agreements. More than 265 groups signed a letter organized by Jubilee USA urging the G20 to act on debt relief, aid and COVID healthcare for developing countries.
“The G20 must do more to ensure global vaccine distribution,“ said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “While the G20 is making progress on a number of COVID response issues, we are concerned by the lack of progress on global vaccine distribution. If we don't do more to get vaccines to the developing world we will struggle with prolonged economic crisis and more virus mutations.”
President Biden called for vaccine patents to be temporarily waived in the face of the crisis and the IMF reports that without worldwide vaccine distribution by year-end, the global economy risks losing $9 trillion dollars.
In a report prepared for the G20 meeting, the IMF warns about the risk of rising US interest rates that could increase already high levels of debt in many countries. Up to 73 countries can seek relief under a G20 process to cut debt, known as the “Common Framework.”
“The G20 needs to follow the strong calls from the White House and Treasury for the private sector to provide significant debt relief,” shared LeCompte. “Because developing middle-income countries will see debts skyrocket if US interest rates rise, it's another reason to extend the G20's debt relief process to these countries."
A global corporate tax agreement is being forged during the meetings. In June, the G7 reached a deal on a minimum rate of at least 15% and new methods to tax digital companies. One hundred and thirty countries subscribed to the outline of a plan earlier this month.
“The G20 endorsement of a global tax deal will send a strong message that companies must pay their fair share in taxes to help the world recover from the coronavirus,” noted LeCompte who serves on United Nations finance expert groups. “As Secretary Yellen advocates, we must increase the global minimum corporate tax beyond 15%."
$650 billion of emergency reserves known as Special Drawing Rights are also on the agenda to fight the pandemic.
“As we move forward with a new creation of global reserve funds, the G20 must ensure that developing countries receive enough of these funds to emerge from this crisis with resilience," stated LeCompte.
Read the IMF note warning about US interest rates and global impacts here.
Read Jubilee USA's G20 COVID Response letter with 268 signatories here.
Read Jubilee USA's statement on the G7 Summit and communiqué here.
Are you seeking an opportunity to strengthen your advocacy skills and grow your career? At Jubilee USA Network, we work together to advocate for policy change that strikes at the roots of global poverty. We are recruiting Associates who are passionate about social justice and love working in a collaborative team environment. We offer a variety of professional development opportunities that will help you advance your career as an advocate of social justice in the nonprofit and government sectors.
Professional Development Opportunities
- Curate a professional portfolio by documenting projects, memos, and other relevant material throughout the term. This allows Associates to demonstrate their experience in the workplace through valuable writing samples that are relevant to their future career goals. Examples of portfolio materials could include social media content, official memos, research briefs, fact sheets, major event announcements, graphic design products, and other projects. We assist Associates in professionalizing their portfolios.
- Receive one-on-one mentorship from the Communications & Operations Manager. Each Associate meets with the Manager in the first week to discuss their goals for the internship and their larger professional and academic aspirations. The Manager will work with Associates to assign projects in alignment with those goals. At the end of the internship, Associates will 1) reflect on their experience and 2) discuss next steps with the Manager to determine how they can most strategically move forward in their career and how Jubilee can be a long-term resource. Throughout your time at Jubilee (and beyond!), the Manager is available for resume help, referrals, and career advice.
- Participate in Policy Forums where Associates interface directly with policy experts who have decades of domestic and international experience on issues within Jubilee’s policy portfolio.
- Strengthen transferable hard skills by gaining hands-on experience with various types of software common in the nonprofit sector: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Content Management Systems (CMS), and project management software. Experience with any of these is not required to join the team - we’ll happily teach you from scratch!
- Develop relationships by working closely with a cohort of 4-6 Associates in a highly collaborative environment. Almost every major project is assigned to a team, which allows Associates to build relationships and balance multiple projects alongside one another.
- Exercise creativity and leadership: If you have an idea on how we can improve an existing process or a pitch for an entirely new initiative, you can lead a pilot project to implement your suggestion in consultation with the Manager.
- End the term with an official letter of recommendation: The Manager will issue an official letter of recommendation to high-performing Associates upon request at the end of the internship.
To apply, email your updated resume to [email protected] and include the name of the position(s) you are seeking in the subject line. Please mention if you are open to multiple positions in your email if that is the case. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis and have the capacity to take on four to six associates in the cohort. While this is an unpaid internship, we enthusiastically work with the student and their college to offer academic credit. The Fall term runs from August 23 to December 17. Note: This internship can be completed entirely virtually but preference may be given to Associates who can participate in person.
Please click the below links to read more about each position:
Jubilee USA Network
Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations. We are 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe to strike at the roots of poverty and inequality. Our policy portfolio encompasses the following structural issues:
Debt and Lending
Tax, Transparency, Accountability and Corruption
Consumer Financial Protections
Preventing Financial Crisis and Austerity
We would love for you to join us in this mission!
Olivia Engling published G7 Focuses on Vaccines and Economic Response to COVID Crisis in Press 2021-06-10 17:57:29 -0400
Washington DC – The presidents and prime ministers of 7 of the world's wealthiest countries gather in the United Kingdom to meet on the response to the economic and health crises spurred by the coronavirus. Hosted in the seaside town of Cornwall this weekend, the G7 Summit focuses on global vaccine distribution and tax, debt, aid, trade and climate policies.
“As developing countries struggle with a third wave of the coronavirus, it's clear that the world faces a prolonged economic crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and leader of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “The only way to beat the dire economic forecasts is to distribute vaccines quickly and provide debt relief and aid to developing countries."
Less than 2% of COVID vaccines reached poor countries. The International Monetary Fund asserts the global economy will lose $9 trillion if vaccines are not distributed by 2022 to developing countries.
On Wednesday, the World Trade Organization began a vaccine patent waiver process that could help developing countries produce and procure more vaccines.
“Unfortunately, G7 leaders still have not come to an agreement on waiving the pharmaceutical patents on vaccines,” remarked LeCompte. "More and more people will die as wealthy countries wait to waive COVID vaccine patents."
As a part of the coronavirus response, the G7 supports a debt relief process for poor countries and agreements to curb corporate and digital tax avoidance.
"The G7 tax deal could help boost revenues that countries need to get through the crisis," shared LeCompte. "While G7 support of debt relief is critical as we confront the pandemic, the G7 should support expanding relief to assist more developing countries in need."
During the summit, the G7 will discuss a $650 billion creation of Special Drawing Rights, a special IMF reserve currency, to respond to the corona economic crisis. Specifically, the G7 will review how these emergency funds can assist developing countries access vaccines, reduce poverty and fight climate change.
“The Special Drawing Rights could be a critical source of funding for the IMF's $50 billion plan to end the pandemic," stated LeCompte.
Read about the WTO vaccine patent waiver process here.
Read Jubilee USA's statement on last week's G7 finance ministers meeting and communiqué here.
Read the Jubilee USA Network press release on last week's G7 finance ministers meeting here.
Read about the IMF $50 billion plan to end the pandemic here.
Olivia Engling published Common Dreams Features Eric LeCompte on COVID Vaccine Patent Waiver in Press 2021-06-10 12:26:54 -0400
A Common Dreams article features Eric LeCompte on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) talks to waive patent rights for the COVID vaccine. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
'Shame It's Taken So Long': Health Advocates Welcome Formal WTO Talks to Suspend Covid Vaccine Patents
By Kenny Stancil
A recent analysis by a coalition of humanitarian groups estimated that at the current vaccination rate, it would take low-income countries 57 years to fully vaccinate their populations against Covid-19.
"Without enough vaccines, developing countries continue to lose lives and jobs," said Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network, whose advocacy work includes pushing for equitable medicine access in trade agreements. "We must move as fast as possible so all people can receive coronavirus vaccines, therapies, and medical equipment to respond to the crisis."
LeCompte added that "unless we act quickly on global vaccine access, most of the world's countries will see lost decades of development. As the crisis worsens in developing countries, wealthy countries will face more economic shocks."
As epidemiologists and advocates for a "people's vaccine" have stressed since the beginning of the pandemic, the more chances the virus has to mutate, the more the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world are endangered.
Read the full article here.
Olivia Engling published WTO Considers COVID Vaccine Access Waiver for Poor Countries in Press 2021-06-09 14:41:07 -0400
Washington DC – The World Trade Organization began a process that could make it easier for poor countries to produce or procure COVID-19 vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies hold vaccine patents and WTO action is necessary to waive the patents. Less than 2% of coronavirus vaccines reached poor countries.
“Without enough vaccines, developing countries continue to lose lives and jobs,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's group advocates for equitable medicine access in trade agreements. “We must move as fast as possible so all people can receive coronavirus vaccines, therapies and medical equipment to respond to the crisis.”
The IMF warns of a worrying trend where rich countries have too many vaccines while developing countries face deep vaccine shortages. On Tuesday, the World Bank reported that two-thirds of developing countries are expected to be in worse economic shape than they were before the pandemic.
“Unless we act quickly on global vaccine access, most of the world's countries will see lost decades of development," stated LeCompte. "As the crisis worsens in developing countries, wealthy countries will face more economic shocks."Pressure for a vaccine access process intensified on the trade body after the Biden Administration called for a COVID waiver on vaccine patents.
Olivia Engling published G7 Finance Ministers Encourage Global Tax Reform and Greater Pandemic Response in Press 2021-06-07 10:13:44 -0400
Washington DC - G7 finance ministers met in London to discuss global COVID-19 response, vaccines, debt relief and global tax reform.
Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the G7 finance minister communiqué and meeting:
"The G7 tax discussion is historic and could mean raising critical revenues for countries to emerge from the crisis with resilience.
"If corporations were paying their fair share in taxes, countries would have had greater resources to combat the economic shocks caused by the pandemic.
"G7 agreements on a global minimum corporate tax and digital taxes can provide revenue to face the pandemic around the world.
"The G7's work on tax reform and corruption is a blow to tax havens.
“The G7 focus on global COVID vaccine access is incredibly important.
"The biggest threat to the global economic recovery is the lack of vaccine access in most of the world's countries.
"G7 countries must lead the way in donating their surplus vaccines and providing aid to get vaccines to developing countries.
"Regarding discussions on debt relief, the G7 made its strongest statement yet on the need for the private sector to participate in debt relief.
"The G7 was very clear that it expects the private sector to provide at least as much debt relief for developing countries as wealthy countries will provide.
"We must extend debt relief beyond the poorest countries to include all developing countries. Developing middle-income countries face the worst increases in poverty and job loss and also need to receive debt relief.
"As Sudan debt relief moves forward, we are encouraged by G7 support.
"G7 finance ministers urged that the creation of emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights, happens by August.
"Processes to distribute Special Drawing Rights can support developing countries access vaccines, fight climate change and reduce poverty. We still need commitments that these resources can be deployed to all developing countries quickly at a low cost.
"The G7 acknowledged that climate change can only be fully addressed as part of global financial decisions and the pandemic response."
Read the G7 Finance Minister Communiqué here.
Read Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's Statement on Tax Reform and the G7 Meeting here.
Olivia Engling published G7 Finance Ministers Meet on COVID Response, Tax and Debt Policies in Press 2021-06-07 10:09:48 -0400
Washington DC - Discussing global COVID response and tax policy, G7 finance ministers began two days of meetings on Friday.
"All countries face revenue loss when corporations don't pay their share in taxes," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "The G7 needs to support global tax reforms so we have resources for people to get beyond this pandemic."
The G7 is discussing a global corporate minimum tax to pave the way for a July G20 agreement.
In a National Security Study Memorandum released on Thursday, President Biden pledged to lead international efforts to bring transparency to the US and the international financial system.
“Biden is right to focus so much energy on a global corporate minimum tax, digital taxes, tax evasion and corruption," said LeCompte. "Tax evasion and avoidance are reasons why we didn't have enough revenue to prevent the current crisis."
Through Saturday the finance ministers also have talks on debt, global vaccine distribution and deploying emergency reserve funds for developing countries also known as Special Drawing Rights.
"The G7 needs to lead the way to make sure that everyone in the world can access vaccines," stated LeCompte.
Olivia Engling published Global Institutions Close Ranks Behind IMF $50 Billion Vaccine Plan in Press 2021-06-01 13:23:42 -0400
Washington DC - Heads of the primary global financial, trade and health institutions urged government leaders to finance a $50 billion vaccine plan to end the pandemic. “A two-track pandemic is developing, with richer countries having access and poorer ones being left behind,” shared IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank President David Malpass, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Trade Organization Director General Nkozi Okonjo-Iweala in a joint statement.
“Since the IMF released its vaccine plan at the G20 Health Summit 10 days ago, voices are growing to ensure universal vaccine access,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “With what's at stake for everyone's health and the global economy, it's critical that we act quickly and invest more towards global vaccine access."
The IMF argues that the global vaccine investment would spur $9 trillion in economic gains by 2025. The proposal requires the mobilization of public and private donations and cheap loans. The leaders also called for surplus vaccines to be donated to developing countries.