Won, Lost, Still Fighting for G20/IMF Pandemic Response: Lives, Livelihoods and Planet

Friends,

In recent weeks world leaders met at the IMF, G20, World Bank and United Nations Climate Conference on decisions affecting our lives, livelihoods and planet. All of the decisions are more urgent given the Ukraine war and that the pandemic deepened poverty, inequality and crises around the world and across the United States.

In the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic, we took action together. We mapped out a plan to win solutions to resolve the current crisis and prevent the next crisis.

Together - we won hundreds of billions in new aid and debt relief for pandemic response. We won new processes to lift the vulnerable, share vaccines, fight the impacts of climate change and resolve debt crises. We need to ask you to do more as we need more progress. Sign our petition to the IMF and G20 to cancel debt, expand crisis aid, bolster global healthcare and provide the resources to protect our planet.

Because of our work together, we won $230 billion for developing countries and another $100 billion in commitments (Special Drawing Rights). As of this week, we have a new fund for developing countries to fight the impacts of climate change. We won new tax and trade agreements. We gained debt relief for the world's most vulnerable countries and a new developing country debt process. Using bankruptcy legislation we won, Puerto Rico slashed its debt payments by two-thirds. Now, our historic legislation is introduced in New York to win debt relief, protect US taxpayers and address supply shocks.

Unfortunately, developing countries still face lost decades of development and aid and climate commitments are moving too slowly. The new debt relief processes are still not producing enough debt relief fast enough. We need to win hundreds of billions in resources to resolve the current economic and climate crises and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Thanks for your partnership,

Aldo Caliari
Senior Director of Policy and Strategy

[email protected]

www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

PS. Now through #GivingTuesday and until the end of the year donations are doubled to Jubilee USA Network. Please make a gift now. 

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UN Climate Conference Agrees on Fund to Address Climate Change Impacts in Developing Countries

 

COP27 Agreement Asserts Climate Change Results in High Debts and Development Failures

Washington DC – Delegates from 200 countries closed this year’s UN climate summit, COP27, with an agreement to create a fund to compensate countries most vulnerable to climate change. The accord reached in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, recognizes that climate-related damage contributes to growing debt burdens and hurts development in countries. 

"During the climate conference negotiations, the concept of loss and damage refers to negative climate change impacts that include extreme weather events, rising sea levels and destruction of forests," noted Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and leader of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA Network. "A number of countries have chronic debt problems that can be traced to the growing severity and frequency of natural disasters."

Future negotiations will determine the loss and damage fund parameters and set it in motion.

"When wealthy countries took and consumed natural resources from developing countries to fuel industrialization, it spurred global warming and climate change impacts like rising sea levels that developing countries can't stop alone," noted LeCompte. "This new climate fund can start to repay a climate debt that wealthy countries owe to developing countries."

Negotiators also reviewed progress on setting a new climate finance goal and reiterated the plan to finalize it by 2024. In a report commissioned by the COP presidencies of last year and this year, a group of experts estimated developing countries need $1 trillion annually to meet climate goals. Wealthy countries failed to meet a $100 billion annual climate finance commitment, promised in 2009.

“In order to get the resources we need to fight climate change we'll need debt relief, more money from development banks and other innovative sources of aid,” added LeCompte. “This is why G20 and IMF decisions are so critical to raising the resources we need to protect our planet, lives and jobs.”

Last year the Group of 20 decided to create $650 billion in IMF emergency currency or Special Drawing Rights. Developing countries' share was more than $230 billion and the G20 targeted $100 billion of the share wealthy economies received, to finance poorest members. Proposals on debt relief and scaling up loans from global development lenders are also on the group’s agenda. The G20 heads of state met in Bali, Indonesia, on November 15-16, while climate negotiations were still ongoing, and agreed to take action to limit temperature rises to 1.5 °C.

“The G20 commitment to limit global warming helped the Sharm el-Sheikh negotiations at a crucial moment when continuing the target was in doubt,” shared LeCompte. 

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 750 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Anjoulie Woodhead, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 964-0134

 

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Praising the Eternal, Thanksgiving Chairs Message

Friends,

Across the US, as we pause for this moment of praise, thanks and hope - all of us at Jubilee wish to thank-you for working with us to build a world where we all have enough. See below a note of Thanksgiving from Jubilee's new Co-Chairs Rabbi Matthew Cutler and Sobia Ijaz.

Thank-you for you,

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
[email protected]

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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A message from Co-Chairs Sobia Ijaz and Rabbi Matthew Cutler:

"I give thanks before You, living and eternal Sovereign, for You have returned within me my soul with compassion; abundant is Your faithfulness”
- Modeh Ani

"In the name of Allah,
the Gracious, the Merciful.
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds,
The Gracious, the Merciful,
Master of the Day of Judgment."

- (1:1-4) Qur'an

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...
for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."
- The Magnificat (Mary's Prayer)

Friends -

Amidst times of suffering and loss, we praise the Eternal One, celebrate the harvest and follow the promise. We are grateful to join you and the many builders of a Jubilee world where we all reap the promised harvest, demanded by the Eternal One.

We give thanks that many of our Jubilee USA Network efforts to protect our planet, lives and livelihoods succeeded in 2022. Thanks to our partners, members and donors who continue to work until the promise is fulfilled. We appreciate our wonderful Jubilee team, board and leadership community that drive our efforts on pandemic response, poverty, inequality and climate.

On behalf of all of us at Jubilee, we give thanks for you and wish you and your loved ones a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.


In hope,



Rabbi Matthew Cutler
Jubilee USA Network Co-Chair


Sobia Ijaz
Jubilee USA Network Co-Chair

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Presbyterian Mission Agency and partners reveal how debt relief addresses systemic injustices across the globe

Presbyterian Mission Agency and partners reveal how debt relief addresses systemic injustices across the globe

‘Forgive us our debts’ from Puerto Rico and Sri Lanka to New York.

“Irresponsible borrowing decisions are felt on the backs of the people” Catherine Gordon, representative for international issues in the Office of Public Witness, said in Debt, Disaster and Corruption, the first in a series of global debt webinars co-sponsored by OPW, the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Read full article here.

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Biden and 90 Other Heads of State Descend on COP27 United Nations Climate Summit

Resources for Climate Action and Poor are Major Themes for Egypt Meetings

Washington DC – President Biden joins ninety heads of state in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the COP27 climate summit beginning this weekend. UN analysis finds that current action commitments fall short of reaching global warming goals made during the 2015 UN Paris Agreement.

“This year we experienced record heat waves, floods and natural disasters. If we fail to take action to address climate change, we'll see increasingly worse impacts from the climate crisis,” stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “As world leaders gather in Africa, the continent most vulnerable to climate change, we see the impacts of the climate crisis on the poor and our global economy.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that in 2020 annual climate aid from developed to developing countries was $17 billion short of progress towards a $100 billion target agreed back in 2009. At the UN summit, leaders negotiate a revised climate action funding target for beyond 2025. 

"More than half of developing countries spend a quarter of their budget on paying debt," noted LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "Debt relief is an important part of reaching climate action goals for countries."

At October IMF and World Bank meetings, climate action was a critical part of discussions on debt and lending. Global leaders began a process to reform development banks to lend more for global priorities such as climate. A new IMF process also began that uses donations from wealthy countries to support long-term, cheap loans to developing countries that can support climate action.

“The success of the climate summit is all about showing us the money,” shared LeCompte. "The bottom line is whether or not we can raise the financial contributions to address the climate crisis."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 750 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Anjoulie Woodhead, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 964-0134

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New Business Ethiopia Quotes Eric LeCompte on the Finance in Common Summit

New Business Ethiopia Quotes Eric LeCompte on the Finance in Common Summit, noting the need for multilateral development banks can expand their approaches to tackling global crises. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

Global development banks to avail loans for crisis recovery

By NBE

The third yearly Finance in Common Summit takes place amidst a world economy facing multiple shocks and calls for increasing lending capacity for development banks. “What distinguishes this third Finance in Common from the two previous ones, is that now there are proposals to push development banks to do more,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Development banks play an important role in crises. With the pandemic, Ukraine war, inflation, food prices and climate challenges, we will demand more of them.”

Read here for more. 

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Hundreds of Billions in New Lending on the Table at Cote d’Ivoire Gathering

World Development Banks Meet for Third Annual Summit

Washington DC – World leaders and more than 450 development banks meet for two days on aligning loans with crisis recovery and tackling environmental challenges. The third yearly Finance in Common Summit takes place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, amidst a world economy facing multiple shocks and calls for increasing lending capacity for development banks.

“What distinguishes this third Finance in Common from the two previous ones, is that now there are proposals to push development banks to do more,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Development banks play an important role in crises. With the pandemic, Ukraine war, inflation, food prices and climate challenges, we will demand more of them.”

In July, a G20-established panel of experts proposed changes to the way banks determine loan risk, assess available capital, and communicate with credit rating agencies. Frannie Léautier, Senior Partner at SouthBridge Group and CEO of SouthBridge Investments, chaired the group, comprising fourteen experts from a variety of backgrounds. According to the panel, global development banks can lend hundreds of billions more to poor countries. G20 officials met on the proposals last week.

“The report shows a pathway to expand development bank lending dramatically,” noted LeCompte who tracks G20 policies.

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for multilateral development banks to devise new approaches to respond to global challenges.

“Development banks require reforms of their operations, practices and lending models in order to deal effectively with the current crises,” stated LeCompte.

African Catholic bishops and religious leaders met in Accra, Ghana, last month and asserted that development banks can use more capital to provide loans in times of crisis, but they lack the resources to meet 21st century challenges. In a letter to President Biden early last year, Jubilee USA Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called for significantly increasing multilateral development banks lending volumes, through a mix of increasing and improving use of capital. A similar letter was sent with more than 200 religious groups echoing the need for boosting development bank capacity.

The G20 is working on processes for wealthy countries to disburse some of their pandemic emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights to poor countries. The IMF created $650 billion in SDRs, to help countries respond to the pandemic, of which advanced economies received more than $400 billion. This month, the IMF initiated operations for a new lending window, the Resilience and Sustainability Trust, that will fund its loans with Special Drawing Rights aid that wealthy countries share.

“We need to find ways to get more funding for development banks,” shared LeCompte. “Special Drawing Rights donations from wealthy countries to development banks can help us narrow the current funding gap."

Read Jubilee USA and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' letter to President Biden here.
Read the African Catholic Bishops and religious leader statement here.
Read 'The Independent Review of MDBS Capital Adequacy: Boosting MDBs’ Investing Capacity' here.
Read Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen's remarks here.
Find the Finance in Common webpage here.
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Badische Zeitung Quotes Executive Director Eric LeCompte on Sluggish African Aid

German news company Badische Zeitung quotes Eric LeCompte on the IMF and World Bank's sluggish aid towards African countries. Read an original and translated excerpt from the article, and click here for the full article

Afrika ist unzufrieden

By Rolf Obertreis

Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen wie etwa das Jubilee USA Network äußern ebenfalls Kritik. "Die Kombination aus hoher Inflation und Rezession trifft die Armen und Ärmsten massiv", klagt Jubilee-Direktor Eric LeCompte. Einige der vorgeschlagenen Einspar-Lösungen und höhere Zinsen würden zusätzliche Schmerzen verursachen. Dazu kämen die Folgen des Klimawandels, die arme und ärmste Länder besonders treffen. Mindestens 300 Milliarden Dollar seien für Anpassungsmaßnahmen bis 2050 nötig, heißt es beim IWF. Die Nicht-Regierungsorganisation Eurodad sieht 85 Prozent der Weltbevölkerung von rigiden Sparmaßnahmen betroffen. Unter anderem würden Programme zur Unterstützung von Frauen, Kindern und Älteren gestrichen, Gehälter von Lehrkräften gekappt und Subventionen für den Gesundheitssektor getilgt.

(Translated) Non-governmental organizations such as the Jubilee USA Network have also expressed criticism. "The combination of high inflation and recession is hitting the poor and the poorest hard," complains Jubilee director Eric LeCompte. Some of the proposed savings solutions and higher interest rates would cause additional pain. In addition, there are the consequences of climate change, which hit poor and poorest countries particularly hard. According to the IMF, at least 300 billion dollars are needed for adjustment measures by 2050. The non-governmental organization Eurodad sees 85 percent of the world's population affected by rigid austerity measures. Among other things, programs to support women, children and the elderly would be canceled, teachers' salaries would be cut and subsidies for the health sector would be eliminated.

 

Read here for more.

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IMF and World Bank Meetings Conclude

Observers Assert that Meetings were Lost Opportunity

Washington DC – World leaders gathered for the annual IMF and World Bank Meetings, focused on the pandemic, Ukraine war and decades-high inflation impacting the global economy. The IMF downgraded growth and forecasted losses of $4 trillion between now and 2026. Neither the G20, nor the policymaking bodies of the IMF and World Bank, reached a consensus on statements.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine dominated the meetings and prevented world leaders from reaching agreements to address the growing global economic crisis," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network.

Multiple reports during the meetings focused on a likely global recession, economic downturns, inflation and climate challenges.

"It’s hard to believe that three years into the pandemic, the economic warnings from the IMF forecast greater problems to come,” said LeCompte. “It seems we will see a global recession.”

Developing countries struggle with high debts and interest rate hikes that drive up their debt payments.

"As interest rates rise to tackle inflation, we could see a number of defaults in developing countries,” added LeCompte. "The financial system does not have the tools to deal with multiple debt crises.”

Three countries applied for debt relief under a process agreed by the G20 last year and still have not received debt reductions. The Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee welcomed progress on the Zambia debt restructuring under the G20 Common Framework process.

"Beyond some progress on Zambia’s debt restructuring, which comes with significant delay, none of the signals the G20 provided today would encourage borrowers facing debt crisis to use the Common Framework,” stated LeCompte. "Lacking a predictable path for debt relief, indebted countries choose to postpone facing their debt problems."

IMF membership finalized details that allow a new vehicle, the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to begin loans. Three countries, Barbados, Costa Rica and Rwanda, already reached initial agreements to receive loans under the Trust, which takes Special Drawing Rights aid from wealthy countries to fund cheap climate and pandemic loans for vulnerable countries. The IMF also announced pledges of $40 billion in SDR contributions towards the Trust.

"With the Trust already in place, the G20 should focus on similar Special Drawing Rights funding to expand development bank lending," shared LeCompte.

In a statement to the meetings, Africa's Catholic Bishops and major faith leaders called for wealthy countries to rechannel a significant portion of their stock of more than $400 billion in Special Drawing Rights to African countries.

“We especially want to highlight, in our region, the enormous potential of rechanneling through the African Development Bank,” the faith leaders shared.

The IMF also passed a Food Shock Window – a temporary expansion in low-conditions, low-cost loans for countries dealing with food crises.

Members, on the other hand, did not make decisions on the IMF penalty rates for countries taking loans. The surcharges will cost 14 developing countries $8 billion in payments during 2021-2028.

"IMF penalty rates for countries taking loans should be suspended when so many countries need these loans for shocks that fall outside of their control,” stated LeCompte.

Finance ministers discussed proposals to increase development bank lending. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for development banks to devise new approaches to address global challenges without sacrificing their primary poverty-reduction goals.

"Responding to climate change and other global challenges means that development banks will need to do more,” said LeCompte. "At these meetings, we saw growing momentum to boost development banks so they can provide more aid and lending."

According to the IMF, developing countries will need $300 billion annually in additional funding to adapt to climate change. The World Bank estimates current climate finance amounts should quadruple.

"There is growing concern about the way the climate emergency disproportionately hurts the poor,” added LeCompte.

Jubilee USA, IMF and World Bank Vigil and Paper Chain Delivery: Saturday, October 15th, 11:30 AM, Community Park, outside of the IMF. The chains that we will display in front of the IMF and World Bank between 11:30 AM and noon, were made by churches and synagogues across the US to send messages of debt relief to world leadersView the advisory here. Link to the online and in-person press registration here.

Read the full African Catholic Bishops and religious leader statement here.

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

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

Read Jubilee USA's statement on the IMF World Economic Outlook report here.

Read Jubilee USA's statement on the Global Financial Stability Report here.

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

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the IMF Food Shock Window here.

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 750 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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

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Jubilee USA Statement on IMF, World Bank Annual Meetings

Jubilee USA Statement on IMF, World Bank Annual Meetings

Religious and Development Groups hold Press Conference at 2:15 PM, Outside IMF

Washington DC – The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, G20 and G7 conclude meetings this week focused on the global economy. The impacts of the pandemic, Ukraine war, inflation, developing country debt, food security and climate crisis are on the agenda.

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/World Bank Annual Meetings:

"As a global recession looms, we must take action more quickly.
 
"The war, rising interest rates and inflation are putting developing countries in an even more difficult situation.

"Ahead of the meetings, the IMF reported that the US and other large economies will see contractions and this impacts the entire global economy.

“Everyone is hurt by rising food and energy prices. The burden is greatest on the poor. 

"I'm concerned that some of the proposed solutions of austerity and higher interest rates will cause greater pain.

"As the dollar gets stronger, developing country debts become dangerously unsustainable."

 

Jubilee USA, IMF and World Bank Press Conference: Friday, October 14th, 2:15 PM, Community Park, outside of the IMF. Religious and development groups respond to the IMF and World Bank Meetings and International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) outcomes. View the advisory here. Link to the online and in-person press registration here.

Find Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 meeting here.

Find Jubilee USA's October 14th and 15th interfaith vigil, press conference and teach-in details here.

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

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

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the IMF Food Shock Window here.

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 750 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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

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Press Advisory: Jubilee USA Holds IMF/World Bank Meetings Vigil, Teach-In and Press Conference this Friday and Saturday

Photo Opportunities of hundreds of paper chains and Sukkah Raising Friday and Saturday Outside IMF and World Bank (schedule below)

Jubilee USA, IMF and World Bank Press Conference
Friday, October 14th, 2:15 PM
(Press RSVP to receive Facebook live link and ask questions online)

Who: 
 Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society; Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice; Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network 

What: 
Religious and development leaders hold a press conference, vigil and teach-in to comment on the IMF, World Bank, G7 and G20 meetings. The annual meetings are where consequential decisions affecting billions of people and our planet are made. In the face of shocks from the Ukraine war, the pandemic and food crisis, religious and development groups call on world leaders to support jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, economic aid and climate change solutions.
 
Where:
Outside IMF and World Bank, Community Park 1824-1884 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006.
 

Schedule for Friday, October 14th
  • 10:00 AM: Raising the Sukkah
  • 2:00 PM: Opening Prayer Service
    • Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
  • 2:15 PM: Press Conference

  • 2:45 PM: Teach-In

    • Ktjel Abildnes, Norwegian Church Aid

    • Elise Bean, Director, Washington Office of Levin Center, Wayne Law, author and former lead investigator for Senator Carl Levin

    • Daniela Berdeja, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

    • Tom Cardamone, Global Financial Integrity

    • Imani Countess, US/Africa Bridge Building Project

    • Iolanda Fresnillo, European Network on Debt and Development

    • Tim Jones, Debt Justice UK

    • Matti Kohonen, Financial Transparency Coalition

    • Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

    • Katherine Marshall, Interfaith 20 and Berkley Center on Religion, Peace and World Affairs

    • Matthew Martin, Debt Relief International

    • Patricia Miranda, Latin American Network on Social and Economic Justice

    • Rick Rowden, American University

  • 5:15 PM: Closing Prayer Service
    • Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Schedule for Saturday, October 15th
  • 9:00 AM: Vigil

  • 12:00 PM: Break the Chains of Debt: Paper Chains and Messages Delivered to IMF and G20

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

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