National Catholic Reporter Quotes Eric LeCompte as Pope Francis names 13 new cardinals

Eric LeCompte is quoted in the National Catholic Reporter as Pope Francis names 13 new cardinals. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Francis Names 13 New Cardinals, Including Washington's Archbishop Gregory

ROME — Pope Francis named 13 new Catholic cardinals Oct. 25, including two Vatican officials; archbishops in Rwanda, the Philippines and Chile; and Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory.

Eric LeCompte, who through his work as the executive director of the Jubilee USA Network came to know Tomasi as they both focused on debt, tax and trade issues at the U.N., praised Francis' choice to name the diplomat and Gregory as cardinals at the same time.

"When we look at appointments and see names like Gregory and Tomasi, we see the Pope's strong commitments to bridge building and promoting the Church's mission to ensure that everyone has enough and can live in dignity," said LeCompte, who is based in Washington.

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Devex Features Eric LeCompte on Debt Relief and the World Bank Annual Meetings

Devex featured Eric LeCompte's comments on the recent World Bank Annual Meetings and their push for debt relief. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

As World Bank pushes others on debt relief, it doesn't participate

WASHINGTON — While the World Bank has been vocal about pushing bilateral and private creditors to take stronger action to provide debt relief, it maintains that it shouldn’t be part of existing debt suspension initiatives.

Even if the World Bank is not participating in debt service suspension, as conversations move ahead about broader debt restructuring or forgiveness, multilateral development banks including the World Bank “need to be part of a debt reduction process like the private sector does,” Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Devex.

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Wall Street Journal features Eric LeCompte on Covid-19 and Poverty

The Wall Street Journal featured Eric LeCompte's analysis of Covid-19's effect on global poverty levels and what the international community can do to effectively respond. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Coronavirus Deals a Blow to Global Battle Against Poverty

WASHINGTON—After decades of progress against global poverty, world leaders are facing a setback due to the coronavirus pandemic and struggling to come up with a response that matches the scale of the problem.

“The world’s not moving quickly enough,” said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit that seeks debt forgiveness for the world’s poorest countries. “The reality is that we’ve had a global $12 trillion stimulus and nearly 90% of that stimulus has been spent in wealthy countries…and less than 3% in developing countries,” those with average incomes under about $4,000.

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G20, IMF and World Bank Negotiate COVID-19 Debt Relief and Aid Deals

Hundreds of Faith Communities, Development and Human Rights Groups Press for More Aid

Washington DC – World leaders met virtually for the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings and moved forward several agreements on debt relief and aid for developing countries to combat the coronavirus crisis. In recent weeks, the Pope, G7, United Nations agencies and development groups called for a permanent debt reduction process.

Hundreds of anti-poverty organizations, religious institutions and faith communities signed a letter to press the G20 and IMF on a pandemic response plan for developing countries. This weekend more than a hundred organizations and faith communities are organizing G20 petition drives, hosting educational events and dedicating worship services for, "Jubilee Weekend: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus.”

"Before the pandemic hit newspaper frontpages, many developing countries already had poor health services, faced financial crises and inequality globally was on the rise," stated Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert who heads the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "As the coronavirus crisis became apparent, religious institutions and development groups led the calls for debt relief, protections for the vulnerable and aid for the developing world."

Synagogues, churches, Muslim groups and faith communities are participating in a range of countries including Kenya, Ghana, Italy, Nigeria, France and Japan. Across the United States, events are planned in more than one hundred cities and towns from Chester, Pennsylvania to Sandy Springs, Georgia to Missoula, Montana and Lakewood, California.

Jubilee USA Network, the convener of the actions that coincide with the IMF, World Bank and G20 meetings, is also organizing a running letter to world leaders on debt, tax and transparency responses to the COVID crisis. The letter currently counts more than 220 signatories that include some of the largest religious, development, labor, environmental and human rights organizations in the world.

This week the IMF announced it would cancel debt payments for 29 of the world's poorest countries into the spring and the G20 agreed to suspend debt payments for 73 developing countries through next June. The most significant announcement was that the G20 would convene a special meeting in the next few weeks to agree on terms for a debt cancellation process for developing countries.

"We've seen progress on some debt relief, but the big focus now needs to be on the process to permanently reduce debts of countries in crisis,” noted LeCompte.

During the meetings, the IMF reported increased resources for concessional lending to the most vulnerable countries. Part of these contributions were from rich countries transferring IMF-issued global reserve funds or what are known as Special Drawing Rights.

"Rich countries hold $176 billion of largely unused IMF-issued global reserve funds that they could donate for lending and debt relief,” said LeCompte. "The IMF could unlock access to trillions of dollars in new global reserve funds which translate into lifesaving resources in developing countries.”

Major religious institutions lead the Jubilee USA letter to the IMF and G20. The signers include: The All Africa Conference of Churches, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Church of Christ Churches. The Unitarian Universalist Association and the largest representations of Quaker communities and Buddhist consortiums are on the letter. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a separate joint letter with Jubilee USA and Pope Francis called again for a debt relief process in his just released Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

Counting their membership in the millions, labor unions including the United Steelworkers (USW), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) joined faith groups in the G20 and IMF letter. Other signers include human rights organizations like Amnesty International USA and Pax Christi and also environmental advocates ranging from Amazon Watch to Friends of the Earth. Development groups were represented on the Jubilee USA letter such as Islamic Relief, American Jewish World Service, American Friends Service Committee, Bread for the World, Action Aid, Oxfam, RESULTS and Health Gap.

Around the world, the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (Jubilee Asia Pacific) convened 125 global organizations to host actions and events during the IMF and World Bank meetings.

Read the list of groups and faith communities participating in "Jubilee Weekend: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus," here.

Read Jubilee USA's COVID-19 Jubilee White House, IMF, G20 Letter here

Read Jubilee USA's press statement on the IMF and World Bank Development Committee Communiqué here.

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

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

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

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Jubilee USA Statement on IMF and World Bank Development Committee Communiqué

Washington DC - The Development Committee, a ministerial-level consensus building and policymaking body for the World Bank and the IMF, met as part of the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings. 

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA, releases the following statement on the World Bank Development Committee Communiqué:

“The cocktail of high debts, shrinking economies and rising spending pressures requires much bolder action than just extending the debt payment suspension.

"The Development Committee again is encouraging that debt relief possibilities be reviewed for middle-income developing countries too, not just low-income countries.

"Some of the most significant increases in poverty and job loss are in middle-income developing countries and so far these countries are left out of debt relief processes.

"The ministers are highlighting their concern that the private sector is not participating in debt relief for countries facing coronavirus health and economic crises.

“The Bank leadership is concerned that its exceptional assistance may be going to repay creditors that refuse to forgive debts.

“The World Bank President has put on the table some bold ideas for a debt restructuring process that restores balance between creditors and debtors.

"Global poverty is growing for the first time in two decades. World Bank assessments show that 150 million people will fall into extreme poverty by 2021.

"The World Bank disbursed a record $45 billion in the first 3 months of the pandemic and committed to disburse $115 more by mid-2021, but a lot of this assistance is in the form of loans to countries already in debt.

“The Bank is front-loading aid resources to the poorest countries to respond to the pandemic. The Bank will need a new infusion of resources to keep up this crisis.

“The IMF should access new global reserve funds or the Special Drawing Rights. These resources could support increased Bank lending and debt relief capacity."

Read the World Bank Development Committee Communiqué here

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

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting here.

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

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Eric LeCompte Quoted in Devex on the G20 Negotiations

Devex features Eric LeCompte's comments on the recent G20 negotiations and debt relief plan. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

'Intense' G20 negotiations fall short on debt support expectations

The G-20 extended its debt suspension initiative but otherwise fell short of what low-income countries, advocates, and World Bank President David Malpass had hoped it would do to help countries facing debt challenges in the wake of COVID-19.

The G-20 communique was the result of “intense” negotiations, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Devex.

The inability to come to an agreement on the debt reduction framework came down generally to tensions around how extensive a restructuring process should be and whether it would include other low- and middle-income countries beyond those eligible for DSSI. China, India, and Turkey had concerns about agreeing to a process without a resolution to questions about who it impacts, LeCompte said. Some countries, specifically China, may need to change their laws to participate in a debt reduction process, he added.

“I think this is the most important thing that the G-20 is dealing with right now, how to move forward a debt reduction framework, who is included, how to handle the private sector,” he said.

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AP and Hundreds of Outlets Feature Eric LeCompte on the Global Economy's Warning Signs

The IMF reported that the effects of the Coronavirus crisis threatens to leave long-lasting scars on the global economy. The Associated Press has featured Eric LeCompte's thoughts on the gravity of the situation and how this will affect developing nations. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

IMF warns global economy could be permanently scarred

The fall meetings of the IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, were held virtually against a grim backdrop of the damage the pandemic has inflicted on the world. In its economic outlook, the IMF forecast that global growth would shrink 4.4% this year, which would mark the worst downturn since the Great Depression. And the World Bank forecast that the pandemic could send an additional 114 million people into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of the international aid group Jubilee USA Network, said more debt relief and and other steps must be taken.

“Wealthy countries, who are making decisions for the entire world about the crisis, are more insulated from the extreme shocks,” LeCompte said. “Nearly 90% of all global stimulus was spent in wealthy countries and less than 3% in developing countries.”

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Marketplace Consults Eric LeCompte on the IMF's Response to COVID Crisis

The IMF issued a report on the global economic outlook that projected global growth would contract more than 4% this year. Marketplace consulted Eric on the projection and what it means for everyday people in developing countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

IMF encourages countries affected by COVID to keep spending on safety net

“We are looking at perhaps half the world’s population living in extreme poverty,” LeCompte said.

The solution, according to the IMF, is that countries should borrow and spend big to strengthen the social safety net. That means health care coverage, unemployment benefits and job retraining.

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Jubilee USA Statement on World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings and Communiqué

Washington DC - World leaders, Finance Ministers, heads of corporations and development groups are meeting virtually for the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings. The International Monetary and Financial Committee, the IMF policymaking body, met as part of the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings. The body discussed policy responses to the global COVID-19 economic crisis, including tax, aid and debt cancellation processes to support developing countries.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the IMFC Communiqué and meeting:

“Forecasts that more than 110 million people are falling into extreme poverty and that the global economy will contract by 4.4%, are a grim backdrop to these meetings.

"The IMF analysis released during these meetings notes that the coronavirus economic crisis will increase inequality and extreme poverty.

"Wealthy countries, who are making decisions for the entire world about the crisis, are more insulated from the extreme shocks of the crisis. Nearly 90% of all global stimulus was spent in wealthy countries and less than 3% in developing countries. 

"We've seen progress on some debt relief, but the big focus now needs to be on a process to permanently reduce debts of countries in crisis. 

"The G20 and IMF will hold a special meeting in the coming weeks on a process to permanently cut and restructure debts.

"Many developing countries in crisis are still left out of debt relief plans. Given that some of the greatest increases in poverty and job loss are in these developing countries, leaders can't afford to wait any longer on moving forward a plan that deals with these countries.

"Focusing on how the international financial systems works is critical. If we are to seize this moment to resolve this crisis and prevent the next crisis, we must improve global debt and transparency processes.

"The IMF statement is the strongest to date on the need for private creditors to participate in debt relief.

"The IMF is making progress on increasing resources for debt cancellation and extending additional concessional lending to the most vulnerable countries.

"Rich countries holding $176 billion of largely unused IMF-issued global reserve funds are transferring a small amount to support resources for poor countries. These transfers should be scaled up and used to finance debt relief.

"The IMF should move forward access to trillions of dollars in global reserve funds or the Special Drawing Rights. Developing countries would translate these funds into lifesaving measures."

Read the IMFC communique here.

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

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting here.

 

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COVID Crisis: G20 Defers Action on Aid, Tax and Debt Cancellation

Washington DC - G20 finance ministers agreed to extend debt payment relief for the 73 poorest countries and, in principle, to have a common framework to cancel debts. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met on global COVID-19 response plans ahead of the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings.

"Debt payment relief for the poorest countries is good news, but it's a short term solution,” said Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert. "We're disappointed not to have a stronger agreement on a permanent debt reduction process, yet, but it's hopeful that the G20 is holding a special meeting on this process in the coming weeks.”

G20 finance ministers will hold a special meeting before G20 presidents and prime ministers meet in November, on a country debt reduction plan or the “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond DSSI.” The announcement came as the International Monetary Fund forecast a contraction of 4.4 % for this year in the global economy and a recovery that will be long, uneven and prone to setbacks.

"The only way for some developing countries to have the resources they need to recover from the coronavirus crisis is to have a process that permanently reduces their debts,” stated LeCompte. “Given that some of the greatest increases in poverty and job loss are in these developing countries, the G20 can't afford to wait any longer on moving forward a plan.”

The G20 expressed disappointment at the absence of private creditor participation in the debt suspension initiative.

"The G20 should be doing more to press the private sector on debt relief. It seems since April, the position of the G20 has weakened on private sector participation in debt relief,” noted LeCompte. 

International tax cooperation was also a focus of the G20. The countries had vowed to agree this year to a global plan for taxing digital revenues and ensuring multinationals pay tax, but they now pushed back that timeline to mid-2021.

“Part of the reason we are in this mess, is because countries aren't raising enough revenues. Now revenues are plummeting in many countries because of the pandemic and the G20 must make more progress on global tax solutions,” explained LeCompte. "An immediate way to combat the coronavirus and support developing countries in crisis is to access trillions of dollars in global reserve funds or the Special Drawing Rights. Unfortunately the G20 made little progress on authorizing what could be a lifesaving measure for countries in crisis."

Read the G20 communique here.

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

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Eric LeCompte Quoted in Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance on the G-20's Extended Debt Relief Plan

Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance included Eric LeCompte's thoughts on the G20 extending developing nations' debt into next year in response to the coronavirus crisis and its effects. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

G-20 Extends Debt Relief Plan Amid Warnings It’s Not Enough

The consequences for some countries are dire. The World Bank calculates that the debt of the poor nations eligible for the external debt relief initiative climbed to a record $744 billion last year. Nations are often forced to choose between servicing debt or spending on social and health programs.

“Debt payment relief for the poorest countries is good news, but it’s a short term solution,” said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit group that advocates for debt relief for smaller economies.

“We’re disappointed not to have a stronger agreement on a permanent debt reduction process yet, but it’s hopeful that the G-20 is holding a special meeting on this process in the coming weeks.”

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Jubilee USA Statement on G20 Communiqué on COVID Debt, Tax and Aid Plans

Washington DC- The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met on global COVID-19 response plans ahead of the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings. They agreed to extend debt payment relief for the 73 poorest countries and discussed tax, aid and debt cancellation processes.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the G20 Communiqué and the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting:

"Debt payment relief for the poorest countries is good news, but it's a short term solution.

"We're disappointed not to have a stronger agreement on a permanent debt reduction process yet, but it's hopeful that the G20 is holding a special meeting on this process in the coming weeks.

"The only way for some developing countries to have the resources they need to recover from the coronavirus crisis is to have a process that permanently reduces their debts.

"The G7, UN agencies, the Pope and hundreds of organizations are calling for a debt relief process so that countries can fight growing poverty and the loss of jobs.

"The G20 should be doing more to press the private sector on debt relief. It seems since April, the position of the G20 has weakened on private sector participation in debt relief.

"Too many developing countries in crisis are still left out of debt relief plans. It's positive that G20 negotiations are looking at how to support more countries. Given that some of the greatest increases in poverty and job loss are in these developing countries, the G20 can't afford to wait any longer on moving forward a plan.

"The G20 had vowed to make more progress on a global plan for taxing digital revenues and ensuring multinationals pay tax. Part of the reason we are in this mess, is because countries aren't raising revenues. Now revenues are plummeting in many countries because of the pandemic and the G20 must make more progress on global tax solutions.

"One of the most important ways to combat the coronavirus and support developing countries in crisis is to access trillions of dollars in global reserve funds or the Special Drawing Rights. Unfortunately the G20 made little progress on authorizing what could be a lifesaving measure for countries in crisis."

Read the G20 communique here.

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