G20 finance ministers met Friday to discuss global coronavirus response. The group endorsed continuing stimulus plans in wealthy countries and supporting plans to increase aid and vaccine access for developing countries.
"If the stimulus plan in the United States moves forward, it translates to about 2 percent in global economic growth," noted the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network, Eric LeCompte. "The G20 is moving forward debt relief, vaccine distribution and accessing global reserve funds for developing countries. The question is will it be enough and can it happen quickly enough."
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed support for a process to deploy global reserve funds (Special Drawing Rights) to help low-income countries. She also highlighted implementation of the G20 debt reduction process agreed last year. The G20 tasked the International Monetary Fund to create a plan for the Special Drawing Rights for upcoming meetings.
“US leadership is pushing G20 actions on debt relief and the Special Drawing Rights,” LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert, added.
Earlier this week, Jubilee USA Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a detailed letter to Yellen and President Biden expressing support for debt relief, financial system changes to prevent future crises and a $3 trillion allocation of global reserve funds. Jubilee USA Network with Latin American partner, Latindadd coordinated a letter signed by more than 200 organizations urging the G20 to move forward Special Drawing Rights or global reserve access.
G20 talks also covered global policies to fight climate change and tax avoidance.
“The G20 hopes to agree on a plan by 2021 to curb tax avoidance,” stated LeCompte. "Perhaps the most important aspect of the G20 meeting was to acknowledge that G20 decisions on finance will have some of the most significant impacts on climate change."
G20 finance ministers meet again ahead of the International Monetary Fund meetings in April.
Read the press release from the Italian G20 Presidency here.
Read Secretary Yellen's letter here.
Read the letter from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network here.
Read the press release about the Catholic Bishop and Jubilee USA letter here.
Read the press release and letter from more than 215 groups on Special Drawing Rights to the G20 here.