White House Holds Global COVID Summit at United Nations

Washington DC - On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Biden virtually hosts world leaders to make commitments for global vaccine and health equipment distribution. 

“As many developing countries struggle with a fourth wave of the pandemic, vaccines and treatment cannot come soon enough," noted Eric LeCompte who is attending the White House summit. LeCompte is the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a UN finance expert. "The longer it takes to vaccinate the majority of the world's population translates to more virus variants and shocks to the global economy."

The White House summit focuses on targets of vaccinating at least 70% of every country's population, regional distribution hubs for protective equipment and global access to COVID treatments. 

"Bringing together heads of state and business leaders, Biden is filling a global leadership void to save lives and prevent more challenges to the global economy,” added LeCompte. "We face a more dire situation because the G20 failed to deliver on financing global vaccine distribution this summer."

In August, LeCompte and major religious leaders met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on waiving COVID vaccine patents to increase vaccine production and access for developing countries.

"We agree with the White House on waiving vaccine pharmaceutical patents to boost global production of vaccines," stated LeCompte. "We don't expect the summit to focus on this critical issue."

Read about the US Trade Representative Tai/Jubilee USA Network roundtable here.

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Eric LeCompte featured on The Common Good podcast about cancelling student debt

Eric LeCompte featured on episode 921 of The Common Good Podcast entitled "Forgive Us Our Debts—Woes and Wins in Canceling Student Debt." Click here to listen to the episode.

Episode 0921— Eric LeCompte: Forgive Us Our Debts—Woes and Wins in Canceling Student Debt

Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

"Student debt is a very important issue and it affects many of us, not only students but often grandparents, parents, and friends as well," said Eric LeCompte. "At the heart of all of this is the question of what kind of education should be enough and should we be ensuring that everyone receives it without putting a particular type of cost on that."

"There's a lot of good news in terms of the reality that when we look at student debt, there are many groups that are working on it, that are concerned about it," LeCompte said. "And in particular, because of the pandemic and its economic challenges, a significant part of the US population is facing this issue and you see it in the news a lot more than before." 

"The developing world loses a trillion dollars a year in tax evasion, tax avoidance, and corruption. Had these monies been captured, they wouldn't be experiences such a crisis," continues Eric. "Had the institutional jubilee process that we've been working on in terms of global bankruptcy that now Pope Francis endorses, had that and previous agreements been put in place after '08-'09 crisis or in 2014 or 2015, we would have the tools right now in place to stabilize our economies." 

Listen to the entire podcast episode here.

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Eric LeCompte quoted in West Orlando News article on the White House COVID-19 summit

Eric LeCompte was quoted in a West Orlando News Article covering the COVID-19 summit convened by the White House at the United Nations General Assembly. Read an excerpt below and find the full article here

White House to Convene Global COVID-19 Summit at UN General Assembly

By Rebecca Martin 

President Joe Biden will convene a COVID-19 Summit during the UN General Assembly on September 22nd. The White House is asking world leaders, civil society, industry and philanthropists to make commitments to vaccinate the world, save lives and establish a health security financing mechanism.

The Biden White House is focusing on four main themes:

  • Vaccinate the World by enhancing equitable access to vaccines and getting shots in arms.
  • Save Lives Now by solving the oxygen crisis, and making tests, therapeutics and PPE more available.
  • Build Back Better by establishing a sustainable health security financing mechanism, and global leadership for emerging threats.
  • Calling the World to Account by aligning around targets, tracking progress, and supporting one another in fulfilling our commitments.

“The summit shows how important it is for us to act quickly,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the Jubilee USA Network. “Biden knows that if we don’t move global vaccine distribution forward this year, we’ll lose more lives and our economy will suffer across the US and around the world.”

Read more here

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Honduran newspaper El Heraldo quotes Eric LeCompte on SDRs allocation

Honduran newspaper El Heraldo quoted Eric LeCompte in an article discussing $300 million on SDRs allocated to Honduras. Read an excerpt below and the full article here.

$300 million will favor Honduras 

By Roldán Duarte Maradiaga 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will carry out a global issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), in favor of its members, for an amount of US $ 650,000 million, “destined to underpin the global economic recovery and help the nations that must face gigantic levels of debt”. That amount is expected to be distributed according to the quotas of each country.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, believes that the measure adopted by the IMF "will not be enough." He believes that: "Rich countries that receive emergency reserves that they do not need, should transfer those resources to developing countries that are fighting the pandemic." In this case, we must await the reaction of the advanced countries."

Read more here.

 

 

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The Star cites Eric LeCompte on worsening pandemic conditions in developing countries

Eric LeCompte was featured in an article by The Star about pandemic-related losses in developing countries. Read an excerpt below and the full article here

Poor countries to lose $12 trillion to corona by 2025 - UNCTAD

By Victor Amadala

Developing countries will lose $12 trillion through 2025 because they lack vaccines and the resources that wealthy countries use to stimulate their economies.

An analysis by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows poor countries will lose a decade of development and face slow economic recovery.

“The economic and health crisis is getting worse in most countries,” said Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert and head of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network.

According to him, developing countries need vaccines and more resources to confront the pandemic. He added that without more aid, there is little chance that poor countries can meet development goals.

“Debt relief must move more quickly and must include all developing countries mired in this crisis,” noted LeCompte.

He added that developing countries that are categorized as middle-income countries, face the worst extreme poverty increases and job losses because of the pandemic.

''Unfortunately, these countries are currently left out of processes to cut their debts,'' LeCompte said. 

Read more here

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Jubilee USA statement on the White House Global COVID-19 Summit at the UN General Assembly

Washington DC – President Biden will convene a COVID-19 Summit during the UN General Assembly on September 22. The White House is asking world leaders, civil society, industry and philanthropists to make commitments to vaccinate the world, save lives and establish a health security financing mechanism.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the summit:

"The summit shows how important it is for us to act quickly.

"Biden knows that if we don't move global vaccine distribution forward this year, we'll lose more lives and our economy will suffer across the US and around the world."

More information about the summit can be found here.

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Most Countries to Lose a Decade of Development Progress says United Nations as Global COVID Crisis Continues

Debt Increased by $500 Billion for Developing Countries in First Year of Pandemic

Washington DC – Poor countries will lose a decade of development and face slow economic recovery according to United Nations analysis. Developing countries will lose $12 trillion through 2025 because they lack vaccines and the resources that wealthy countries use to stimulate their economies.

“The economic and health crisis is getting worse in most countries,” said Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert and head of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Developing countries need vaccines and more resources to confront the pandemic. Without more aid, there is little chance that poor countries can meet development goals."

According to the flagship report from the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, developing country debt increased during the crisis. From 2019 to 2020, developing country debt increased while sales from their exported products fell.

“Debt relief must move more quickly and must include all developing countries mired in this crisis,” noted LeCompte. "Developing countries that are categorized as middle-income countries, face the worst extreme poverty increases and job losses because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, these countries are currently left out of processes to cut their debts."

The G20 agreed to suspend debt payments for 73 of the poorest countries through December and created a process for the same countries to reduce debt. The G20 Common Framework debt relief process excludes most developing middle-income countries.

The report welcomed the August creation of $650 billion in emergency reserve currency, also known as Special Drawing Rights, to fight the pandemic. At the same time, the UN agency warned that the resources fall short of the current needs of developing countries. More than $230 billion of the reserve funds reached developing countries.

The United Nations report concludes that more aid, debt relief and changes to the financial system are needed for most countries.

After the 2008 financial crisis world leaders worked on crisis resolution tools to make the financial system more stable. Unfortunately, we failed to implement those tools, the tools that may have limited or prevented the current crisis," stated LeCompte. "Now we face a greater economic crisis and we must implement strong crisis resolution tools to help solve the current crisis and prevent the next one."

UNCTAD members meet on October 3-7, hosted by Barbados, to adopt its next four-year work plan.

Read the 2021 UNCTAD report here.

Read Jubilee USA's statement on the creation of Special Drawing Rights here.

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Encourages Tax and Aid Deals to Confront Pandemic

Washington DC – Improving tax collection raises needed resources for countries, noted Treasury Secretary Yellen at a virtual G7 finance ministers meeting. Yellen praised a July G20 agreement to curb corporate tax avoidance. The agreement is supported by 134 countries.

“We are seeing significant progress on curbing global corporate tax avoidance,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “As new tax agreements move forward, developing countries must be included. Too many countries lack the resources to combat the pandemic because they aren't collecting adequate tax revenue."

Yellen encouraged her G7 counterparts to lend their shares of a recent emergency currency creation of $650 billion for global pandemic response. In August, the International Monetary Fund authorized the emergency response funds known as Special Drawing Rights. G7 countries received more than $280 billion and developing countries received around $230 billion of the emergency currency. Wealthy countries can donate or lend their Special Drawing Rights to developing countries.

“Rich countries don't need their share of emergency pandemic response funds," noted LeCompte who serves on United Nations finance expert groups. “Given the level of suffering in developing countries, wealthy countries should donate their funds instead of lending them to poor countries."

Read Treasury's readout of the G7 meeting here.

Read about the historic $650 billion SDR allocation here.

See Jubilee USA's calculation of the approximate amount each country receives in emergency SDRs currency here.

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Eric LeCompte covered in the Catholic Sun on pandemic recovery efforts

Eric LeCompte was covered in a Catholic Sun article about the recent "Poverty and COVID-19: Challenges and Solutions" webinar. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article.

Richest nations urged to tackle financial turmoil worsened by pandemic

By Catholic News Service

Leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies are facing “make-or-break” decisions that can boost health care, reduce poverty and address the impact of climate change in developing nations when they meet in October in Italy, said the executive director of an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations.

The questions facing the Group of 20 nations, or G-20, range from charting a path to ease the debt burden of poor countries to ensuring more equitable distribution of vaccines in response to the coronavirus pandemic, said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Washington-based Jubilee USA.

The key to recovery from the pandemic will be ensuring that decision-makers are accountable to follow through on what they say they are going to do, LeCompte explained during an Aug. 24 webinar, “Poverty and COVID-19: Challenges and Solutions,” sponsored by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

LeCompte credited a United States plan to donate 500 million vaccines worldwide as a significant step toward the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

Read more here.

 

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Eric LeCompte featured in Crux on Afghani emergency COVID funds

Eric LeCompte was featured in Crux on the IMF withholding emergency COVID funds from Afghanistan. Read an excerpt below and click here to read the full article.

IMF emergency COVID funds withheld from Afghanistan

By John Lavenburg

NEW YORK ­­– The International Monetary Fund on Aug. 23 withheld $455 million in emergency COVID-19 relief funding from Afghanistan, after the Taliban’s takeover of the country forced the organization to withhold its recognition of the Afghan government.

The withheld funds are a part of $650 billion in emergency reserve funds, known as the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, that the organization made available to countries worldwide on Aug. 23.

Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network who has for months advocated for the creation of these funds alongside the U.S. bishops’ conference and other religious groups, told Crux that’s it’s unfortunate Afghanistan won’t receive the funds, but called it a “good move” for the IMF given the country’s unstable situation.

“There are real questions when you don’t know how the government is going to act, you don’t know who the authority is, or who’s in charge, where the IMF has to pull back its recognition of the government in order to ensure that money is being spent correctly,” LeCompte said. “So, unfortunately, it will have, I think, a negative impact on the people just as all of the questions around a government transition in Afghanistan right now.”

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Eric LeCompte quoted in IOL article about IMF emergency funding

Eric LeCompte was quoted in Independent Online about the recent round of IMF Emergency Funding to South Africa for COVID-19. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article. 

IMF provides R65bn emergency funding for SA to tackle Covid-19

By Siphelele Dludla

Last year, the IMF approved South Africa's request for emergency financial assistance of nearly R70bn under the Rapid Financing Instrument to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, there has been concern over the distribution of the SDRs as African nations will receive only $33bn when they require about $450bn to rebuild their economies, over the next five years.

More than $230bn of SDRs goes to developing low-income and middle-income countries, while the G7 countries will receive more than $280bn.

Director of American lobby group Jubilee USA Network, Eric LeCompte, on Friday, said it was unfair that about 40 percent of all of the emergency currency will be received by seven of the world's wealthiest countries.

“The G7 and other wealthy countries don't need these reserve funds and should donate them to developing countries for pandemic response,” LeCompte said.

Read more here.

 

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Jubilee USA statement on creation of historic $650 billion Special Drawing Rights emergency funds to fight pandemic

The IMF creates $650 billion of Special Drawing Rights, the largest IMF emergency currency creation in history to fight the pandemic.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the Special Drawing Rights allocation:

"Developing countries can use these emergency funds to respond to the coronavirus crisis in their own countries.

"Countries can use the Special Drawing Rights to bolster social programs and provide healthcare.

"More than $230 billion of these funds goes to developing low-income and middle-income countries. The G7 countries will receive more than $280 billion. 

“The G7 and other wealthy countries don't need these reserve funds and should donate them to developing countries for pandemic response."

See Jubilee USA's calculation of the approximate amount each country will receive in emergency SDRs currency here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the pandemic here.

Read Jubilee USA's IMF COVID response letter calling for Special Drawing Rights aid with nearly 270 signatories here.

Read the SDR letter signed by 240 global groups organized by Jubilee USA and Latindadd here.

Read Jubilee USA and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops joint letter to the White House on SDRs here.

Read about the March High-Level Treasury Secretary Yellen/Jubilee USA Network Religious Leader Roundtable that included SDRs here.

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