G7 Supports Emergency Funds for Developing Country COVID Relief

G7 finance ministers agreed to create emergency reserve funds for developing countries wrestling with coronavirus economic impacts. The funds are likened to a type of currency the International Monetary Fund creates, calledĀ Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

"This is the strongest public statement to date from G7 countries on the need for SDRs to confront the COVID economic crisis that is ravaging developing countries," stated Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's development group advocated the use of these emergency reserve funds for more than a year. "We are waiting on the IMF to formally assess the needs of poor countries to decide on the size of a SDR issuance. There is no doubt that developing countries have needs north of a trillion dollars."

SDRs were last created following the 2008 financial crisis. On Tuesday, Jubilee USA Network organized a roundtable with high ranking religious leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that focused on SDRs.

"Treasury is a strong proponent of moving forward development aid and debt relief," noted LeCompte. "As countries are struggling from the crisis, we need to be sure the aid is enough and that all developing countries can get the support they need."

In February, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA sent a letter on SDRs to President Biden and Yellen. Jubilee USA Network with Latindadd, a Latin American development group, organized a letter with more than 200 organizations calling on the G20 to support a SDR issuance.

Read about the March 16th Secretary Yellen Jubilee USA Network Meeting here.

Read the letter on SDRs, aid and debt relief from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network here.

Read the letter organized by Jubilee USA with 200 plus signers urging the G20 to support SDRsĀ here.