Jubilee USA Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report

Continuing War, Pandemic, Inflation Drive Up Fears of Global Recession

As world leaders arrive for the Annual IMF and World Bank Meetings, the IMF releases its flagship World Economic Outlook report. The IMF downgraded economic growth to 2.7%, as the world economy grapples with the Ukraine war, pandemic, a food crisis and inflation.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who monitored IMF meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMF Meetings and World Economic Outlook Report:

"It seems likely that we are heading into a recession.

"The US and other large economies will see contractions and this impacts the entire global economy.

"The war and rising interest rates are putting developing countries in an even more difficult situation.

“Rising food and energy prices hurt everyone, in particular the poor. 

"Some of the proposed solutions of austerity and higher interest rates will cause pain.

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

Read the full World Economic Outlook 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.

 

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Jubilee, IMF and World Bank Events

October 12, 2022 | 8:30–10:00 am ET (12:30–2:00 pm GMT)

Engaging Africa Faith-Based Institutions for Africa's Inclusive Economic Recovery 

Caritas Africa and its partners have mobilized faith-based institutions in Africa to campaign for Africa’s inclusive economic recovery from the multiple crises. The session seeks to raise concerns and facilitate policy dialogue on debt management, concessional financing and equitable deployment of special drawing rights to aid speedy and transformative recovery.

Caritas Africa's Manager for the Africa Inclusive Economic Recovery Campaign, Samuel Zan Akologo, moderates a panel with Frank Schneider, Development Finance Specialist, Development Finance Division, German Ministry of Finance, Most. Rev. Sithembele Anton Sipuka, Bishop of the Diocese of Mthatha, South Africa, and former Vice President, Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network, Lucy Esipila, Policy and Advocacy Officer, Caritas Africa, Charles Chilufya, S.J., Rev. Fr., Director, Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa, Andrew John Tiffin, Senior Economist at the African Department, IMF

Sponsors: Caritas Africa, Jubilee USA Network

Location: World Bank "I" Building, Room I 2-220, 1850 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Registration to the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings will be required to access the premises. No registration is needed to access the livestream, available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2022/06/16/civil-society-policy-forum-annual-meetings-2022#:~:text=Furthermore%2C%20the%20WBG%2DIMF%20Annual,here%20to%20access%20the%20form

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October 14, 2022 | 4:30–6:00 pm ET (8:30–10:00 pm GMT)

International Financial Architecture Reform for a Fair Debt Crisis Resolution

The number of countries struggling with the worst debt crisis in decades is increasing. There is global consensus that the international financial architecture is failing to deliver a timely, fair and comprehensive debt treatment to those countries that need it. However, there is no agreement on the direction that reforms of the financial system and debt architecture should take. The experienced and distinguished panelists will discuss a range of proposals for reform, and how they could and should be delivered. They will also take questions and comments from the floor.

Reuters' Senior Correspondent, Andrea Shalalmoderates a panel with Mathew Martin, Director, Development Finance International, Patricia Miranda, Global Advocacy Director, Latindadd, Guillaume Chabert, Director of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department (SPR) of the IMF, Marcello Estevao, Global Director, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment at the World Bank

Sponsors: ActionAid International, African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMMD), CAFOD, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Christian Aid, Debt Justice Norway, Debt Justice UK, Global Policy Forum, Jubilee USA Network, Norwegian Church Aid, Red Latinoamericana por Justicia Económica y Social (Latindadd), Society for International Development, Third World Network, ESCR-Net, European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD)

Location: IMF HQ2-03B-768B, 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20431

Registration to the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings will be required to access the premises. No registration is needed to access the livestream, available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2022/06/16/civil-society-policy-forum-annual-meetings-2022#:~:text=Furthermore%2C%20the%20WBG%2DIMF%20Annual,here%20to%20access%20the%20form

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October 14, 2022 | 10:00 am–5:15 pm ET 

October 15, 2022 | 9:00 am–12:30 pm ET 

Jubilee USA Interfaith Vigil, Press Conference and Teach-in

Join us on Friday, October 14th for a vigil, teach-in and press conference outside of the IMF, World Bank and G20 Meetings. Hear how religious and community leaders from around the world are working for a Jubilee. On Saturday morning, October 15th, we will bring thousands of paper chains to the IMF calling for debt relief and economic aid.

A full schedule is available here: https://www.jubileeusa.org/imf_world_bank_annual_meeting_mobilization_22

Location: Edward R. Murrow Park

Register by clicking here. To stay up to date on these events, visit our website at: https://www.jubileeusa.org/imf_world_bank_annual_meeting_mobilization_22

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IMF Predicts Global Economy to Lose $4 Trillion

"Senseless War," Pandemic and Inflation Threaten Economy, Warns IMF Chief Ahead of World Leader Meetings

The global economy is more fragile noted IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. In her curtain-raiser speech ahead of the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings, Georgieva predicted a $4 trillion global loss through 2026.

“Most of us already feel like we are experiencing a recession," said Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network who has monitored IMF policy since 2010. “Before the pandemic, most of the world's countries were facing economic crises. Since the pandemic, we had three years of crisis after crisis and the world is facing recession."

According to Georgieva, growing debt vulnerabilities in emerging developing economies and more than 60% of low-income countries raise the risk of a widening debt crisis that harms populations and global growth. The IMF chief urged a quicker implementation of a G20 debt relief process known as the Common Framework for Debt Treatments Beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative.

“Debt relief processes are moving too slow,” stated LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "The debt relief processes that we have don't even cover all of the countries in dire need of relief."

Referring to food insecurity that now affects more than 345 million people worldwide, Georgieva said that a food emergency financing window that the IMF unveiled last week will help the most affected countries.

“The IMF acted rapidly to support countries facing rapidly rising food bills, but we should not forget these are still loans for countries facing too much debt,” stated LeCompte. 

Watch the curtain-raiser speech here.

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

Find Jubilee USA's full list of upcoming events here.

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IMF and World Bank Interfaith Vigil, Press Conference and Teach-in

Protecting Lives, Livelihoods and Planet

October 14-15, 2022

World leaders will gather in Washington, DC for G20, G7, IMF and World Bank Meetings from October 10th - October 16th. At these meetings, they will make consequential decisions affecting billions of people and our planet. In the face of shocks from the Ukraine war, the pandemic and food crisis, we are calling on world leaders to support jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, economic aid and climate change solutions.

Join us on Friday, October 14th for a vigilteach-in and press conference outside of the IMF, World Bank and G20 Meetings. Hear how religious and community leaders from around the world are working for a Jubilee. On Saturday morning, October 15th, we will bring thousands of paper chains to the IMF calling for debt relief and economic aid.

To stay up to date on all of the events please register at the link below. If you have any questions feel free to contact [email protected] or [email protected].
 
Where:
Outside IMF and World Bank, Community Park 1824-1884 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006.


Schedule for Friday, October 14th
  • 10:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Raising the Sukkah

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

    • Abby Nash, Senior Director of Campaigns, Jubilee USA Network 

    • Yolanda Savage-Narva, Assistant Vice President, Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) for the Union for Reform Judaism

    • Damon Silvers, Special Counsel and Senior Adviser, Jubilee USA Network

  • 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

    • 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

  • 2:45 PM: Teach-In
       
    Speakers include: 

    • Ktjel Abildnes, Norwegian Church Aid

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

    • Aldo Caliari, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy, Jubilee USA Network 

    • 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

    • Gary Kalman, Executive Director, Transparency International U.S.

    • 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 - 12 PM: Vigil

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

Register at Jubilee USA IMF/World Bank Mobilization Registration Form

Follow the livestream here
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African Bishops Call for Debt Relief and Aid to Address Multiple Crises

Statement Precedes G7, African Finance Ministers and IMF Washington Meetings

G7 and African finance leaders should work together to remove the heavy burdens of debts in Africa, Catholic bishops and other faith leaders from the region said in Accra, Ghana, at the end of a two-day meeting. Representing churches in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and South Africa, the dignitaries discussed the effects and responses to the pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, food inflation and rising interest rates shocks in Africa.

“Less than three years after the biggest global recession in a century, the threat of recession looms again,” the bishops said. “Budget shortfalls and unpayable debts have reduced the room for our countries to take the actions needed to protect the most vulnerable and restore prosperity.”

On October 12th, G7 and African finance ministers will meet on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC. Debt, aid and future solutions for debt crises will be on the agenda.

"Africa's religious leaders see the suffering of their people and are calling on world leaders to provide the debt relief and aid needed to fight high food costs and the shocks from the pandemic," shared Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Jubilee USA works with faith leaders on pandemic and crisis response. "If we are to address global poverty, we need to address the debt and economic structures that are causing poverty around the world."

The African prelates recalled Popes John Paul II and Francis’ support for debt relief and asked for debt relief assessments to enshrine the principle that human development and climate investments come before debt payments.

“G7 countries, as key debt governing jurisdictions, should pass domestic legislations that prevent private creditor litigation from undermining international debt relief efforts,” added the bishops.

Under legislation currently before the New York State Assembly, private creditors would have to join international debt relief deals signed by public creditors. Jubilee USA supports the legislation, and is working with counterparts in key G7 jurisdictions to implement similar initiatives.

The faith leaders also highlighted the importance of the $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights – an emergency currency the IMF creates – released last year for pandemic crisis relief. They called on rich countries to transfer a significant portion of their share of SDRs to African countries.

“We want to highlight the enormous potential in [the] region of rechanneling through the African Development Bank,” faith leaders said.

The African Development Bank is one of the lenders seeking to fund new loans to its members with rich-country SDR contributions. The G20 committed to a global objective of $100 billion rich-country SDRs to countries in need.

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

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Presbyterian Mission Features Aldo Caliari on the International Debt Crisis

Presbyterian Mission features Aldo Caliari on the International Debt Crisis, private creditors, and the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act. Below is a brief excerpt, and click here to read the full article.

Call to New York Presbyterians: Take Action on International Debt Crisis

By Aldo Caliari

In May, New York State Assembly member Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Banks Committee, introduced legislation that would ensure private creditors participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors. Under the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act, a debtor country cleared to have debt cuts in an international initiative would be protected from private creditor litigation. Should a private creditor sue, the legislation requires that the judge reduces their claim by the same proportion agreed in the applicable global debt initiative. Of course, with such ruling expected, the hope is that most creditors will likely not choose to go to court at all. Debtor countries can manage crises more efficiently, finding a quicker exit and lowering the economic and social costs to their people, especially the most vulnerable.

Read more here.

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IMF Provides Emergency Food Crisis Loans

The IMF launches the Food Shock Window to aid countries facing food shortages by expanding access to rapid, low-interest loans. The number of people facing food shortages rose by more than 200 million since the pandemic.

“All over the world people are struggling with food shortages because of the pandemic, the Ukraine war and soaring prices spurred by inflation,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA. "The IMF's action helps countries wrestling with food crises."

In 45 countries, 50 million people are on the verge of famine, the World Food Programme reported.

“The growing global food crisis can push countries into social unrest and instability,” added LeCompte. “While the Food Shock Window helps, it is only buying time. More loans as many countries struggle to pay debts is not a long-term answer."

Sixty per cent of the poorest countries and 30 per cent of developing middle-income ones are at risk of debt crises. 

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US Catholic Quotes Eric LeCompte on Rising Interest Rates and Debt

US Catholic quotes Eric LeCompte on the use of rising interest rates to combat inflation, and its implications for debt-ridden countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

We can’t fight inflation at the expense of the poor

By Kevin Clarke

In this time of converging crises, rising interest rates “mean developing countries have higher debt payments just when they need to invest more to protect their people,” Eric LeCompte, director of Jubilee USA Network, reminded policymakers as G20 finance ministers convened in Bali, Indonesia in July. “Countries need debt relief, not more debt.”

Raising interest rates to combat inflation can only be one aspect of a comprehensive approach to stabilizing the global economic order. A human factor, the church’s preferential option for the poor, must be part of the calculus among economists in Washington, Geneva, Brussels, and New York.

 

Read more here.

 

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Axios Quotes Eric LeCompte on the Numerous Crises in Puerto Rico

Axios quotes Eric LeCompte in an article detailing the numerous political and economic crises Puerto Rico faces. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

Puerto Rico's intersecting crises

By Nathan Bomey

Driving the news: Puerto Rico's entire power grid — which has been in bankruptcy for the last half decade — went down after Hurricane Fiona ripped through on Sunday. It's another humanitarian crisis for an island that was supposed to be keeping the lights on by now.

  • Only about 32% of Puerto Rico residents had power restored as of Thursday, while about 3 in 4 were still without clean water, according to Jubilee USA Network, an organization that has advocated for debt relief for Puerto Rico.
  • "Even relatively minor storms can shut down the power grid on the island," Jubilee executive director Eric LeCompte tells Axios. And "the water supply is dependent in many parts of the island on the electrical grid."

 

Read more here.

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Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico's Need for Disaster Recovery Aid

Crux quotes Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico's need for disaster recovery aid after being hit by Hurricane Fiona. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

Puerto Rico devastated after Hurricane Fiona hits

By John Lavenburg

Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Crux in August that Puerto Rico needed an additional $50 billion in disaster recovery aid, and an acceleration of the disbursement of the $55 billion in disaster recovery aid that Congress has already allocated for recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Maria and Irma, cautioning how bad things could get if it experienced another disaster.

He renewed that call Sept. 20, saying in a statement that “Puerto Rico will need more aid to address the damages from Hurricane Fiona, the island’s child poverty crisis and recovery from previous disasters.”

 

Read more here.

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Hurricane Fiona Damage Adds to Puerto Rico Aid Needs, Debt Woes

Hurricane Fiona caused floods and cut power across Puerto Rico as more than 2 feet of rain fell on the island. The category 1 storm - which strengthened to category 3 after hitting the island - comes five years after Hurricanes Maria and Irma led to 3,000 deaths and more than $100 billion in damages. Since then, Congress allocated $55 billion in disaster aid. The aid is still not fully disbursed and deployed. Additional recovery needs for Hurricanes Maria and Irma are estimated at $50 billion.  

“Fiona is the latest disaster to hit Puerto Rico,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Jubilee USA Network has worked on debt and disaster relief efforts for the island since 2015. “Puerto Rico will need more aid to address the damages from Hurricane Fiona, the island's child poverty crisis and recovery from previous disasters."

In March, Puerto Rico concluded a bankruptcy process that took over four years and yielded cuts of about 50% of the island's $72 billion debt. In a statement, 26 Puerto Rico and US religious leaders welcomed the agreement but laid out a comprehensive economic agenda needed to prevent future debt crises. The plan includes building quality and sustainable infrastructure.

“Storms will continue to strike Puerto Rico and the electricity grid must be repaired to withstand future storms," stated LeCompte. "While debt relief for Puerto Rico is helpful, not enough debt was cut for Puerto Rico to be prepared for situations like Hurricane Fiona."

The religious leaders’ Puerto Rico plan calls for expanding manufacturing jobs, increasing disaster relief and winning the same funding as US states receive for nutrition, child poverty, health, disability and tax relief programs.

Read Religious Leaders Statement on Puerto Rico Debt Deal and Way Forward here.

Read Jubilee USA's Press Release on US and Puerto Rico Religious Leaders Statement here.

 

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WAMC Quotes Eric LeCompte on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act

WAMC quotes Eric LeCompte on an article detailing Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act. Below is a brief excerpt, and click here for the full article.

Fahy introduces bill to help developing nations recover from pandemic

By Ashley Hupfl

At the state Capitol Wednesday, Assemblywoman Fahy said the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act would close that gap by ensuring private creditors participate alongside public creditors on comparable terms. The DSSI is set to expire at the end of the year if it is not once again extended, but the Common Framework does not.

Eric LeCompte is executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of religious institutions and labor groups. He argues the bill would also help the United States, because the IMF says inequality is being driven by global debt.

“The problems that developing countries are facing, that emerging markets, middle-income countries are facing are also a part of the problems we're facing in the United States in terms of economic shocks and supply shocks. The reality in terms of the Trump administration and Biden administration continuing the bi- partisan calls for debt relief…it's more than just helping the most vulnerable people on Earth that we as the religious community deeply care about. It's also about protecting our investments.”

 

Read more here.

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