IMF creates historic $650 billion in emergency funds to fight pandemic

Jubilee USA Estimates Wealthy G7 Countries Receive $280 billion and Developing Countries Receive $230 billion from an IMF Currency Creation

Washington DC – On Monday, the IMF creates $650 billion of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the largest IMF emergency currency creation in history in order to fight the pandemic. 

"Most countries are dealing with severe health and economic crises spurred by the coronavirus," noted Eric LeCompte who directs the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Since March of 2020, Jubilee USA advocated for SDRs and organized 268 organizations to support the IMF action. "From buying food to providing healthcare, developing countries can use these emergency funds to respond to the coronavirus crisis in their own countries."

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

“About 40% of all of the emergency currency will be received by seven of the world's wealthiest counties,” explained LeCompte. "The G7 and other wealthy countries don't need these reserve funds and should donate them to developing countries for pandemic response."

Countries can use SDRs to increase government savings, fund programs or donate them to other countries. Based on current publicly available IMF data, Jubilee USA calculated that the United States receives $113 billion and all of Africa receives $33 billion in SDRs.

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

Read More

Haiti earthquake recovery hampered by poverty, high debts and corruption

Washington DC – As a cyclone hits Haiti, rescue workers searched for survivors from Saturday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake. At least 1300 are confirmed dead and thousands of homes destroyed in one of the world's poorest countries. 

“The earthquake devastation in Haiti is quite severe,” said Eric LeCompte a United Nations finance expert and the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “Earthquake recovery is more difficult because nearly 60% of people live in poverty, high debts mean Haiti lacks resources to respond, the island still hasn't recovered from the last major earthquake 10 years ago and the COVID pandemic."

Haiti holds $2.2 billion in debt owed mostly to other countries and international financial institutions. Haiti’s debt to the IMF stands at $185 million.

As part of the IMF's COVID response, $17 million of Haiti's IMF debt payments were canceled through a process called the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) since April 2020. Unless the relief process is extended, Haiti resumes IMF debt payments in November. Eligibility for debt relief under the CCRT can include natural disasters.

"The international community must ensure that Haiti receives sufficient funds and aid," stated LeCompte. "Debt relief and supporting greater transparency in Haiti's government will be important for recovery."

A government audit in 2019 revealed lost monies, including $2 billion lost in an oil program between Haiti and Venezuela's PetroCaribe. In July, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated.

Haiti's 2010 earthquake killed 250,000 people and inflicted more than $8 billion in damages. Jubilee USA's 2010 efforts resulted in more than $1 billion in debt relief for Haiti and the creation of the CCRT. The predecessor of the CCRT was specifically established to first support Haiti's 2010 earthquake relief. In 2015, Ebola-hit African countries received debt relief through the CCRT. Last year, the IMF activated the debt relief process to respond to the pandemic in Haiti and 28 of the poorest countries.

Read More

Eric LeCompte speaks on WPKN Radio about distributing COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable countries

Eric LeCompte spoke on WPKN's radio news show about the present need for Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries. Read an excerpt below and click here to listen to the show from 1:35:00 - 2:00:00.

Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA on urgent need to distribute COVID vaccines to developing nations

Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

"The reason that the G7, G20, and the World Trade Organization must act by November is to ensure that we have enough vaccine doses for the entire world."

"A big part of the problem has been dealing with the commitments that wealthy countries need to make when developing countries do not have the resources to combat the pandemic. It’s a real issue that the financing and aid has not been raised sooner by global decision makers."

"Without the aid and financing for pharmaceutical waivers so that countries in the developing world can have the resources to produce the vaccine on their own, we are not going to be able to stop what could be a perpetual economic crisis for the US as well as the developing world into the future."

 

Listen more here from 1:35:00 - 2:00:00.

Read More

The United Methodist Church reports on Jubilee USA's efforts for global vaccine access

The United Methodist Church reports on Jubilee USA's efforts for global vaccine access. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article. 

The Need for Worldwide Vaccine Access: Citizens of many countries are unprotected as COVID-19 cases rise.

By Linda Bloom

United Methodist and other faith leaders view access to the COVID-19 vaccine as a human right, along with other basic health care needs.

But citizens in many countries remain unprotected from the coronavirus as multinational efforts to increase vaccine availability have fallen short. The total number of known coronavirus cases worldwide has now surpassed 200 million.

The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, was among the religious leaders who met virtually Aug. 4 with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to express support for waiving vaccine patents to increase COVID vaccine access for developing countries.

The meeting with Tai was organized by Jubilee USA and Eric LeCompte, its executive director, said Tai understood the urgency of the situation. “Waiving vaccine COVID patents will help produce more vaccines and save lives in the developing world,” he said.

 

Read more here. 

Read More

La Prensa Grafica cites Jubilee USA on the new $400 million reserve funds for El Salvador

La Prensa Grafica quoted Eric LeCompte on the new allocation of $400 million through Special Drawing Rights for El Salvador. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

FMI otorgará $400 millones para El Salvador por pandemia

By Claudia Espinoza

Resources will be delivered through Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which are funds to complement the reserves of the countries.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will grant $ 400 million to El Salvador to face the covid-19 crisis, being one of the most benefited countries in the region, in addition to Ecuador and Argentina, which will receive $1 billion and $4.3 billion respectively.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, said this outlay will not be enough. "Rich countries that receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries fighting the pandemic," he said.

 

Read More here.

Read More

BBC features Eric LeCompte on the new allocation of $650 billion SDRs

BBC features Eric LeCompte on the creation of $650 billion SDRs destined to underpin the global economic recovery and help the nations that face gigantic levels of debt. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

FMI: cuánto dinero recibirá cada país de América Latina con la mayor inyección de recursos que ha aprobado el organismo en toda su historia

By Cecilia Barría

Latin American countries are trying to stand up and accelerate economic recovery after the harsh recession caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Those who have the most uphill path are those with few fiscal reserves to allow them to guarantee their stability and with little access to credit in international markets due to their high level of risk.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, said the measure will benefit developing countries, but it will not be enough.

"Rich countries that receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries fighting the pandemic," he said.

 

Read more here.

Read More

Eric LeCompte speaks with Crux on the Jubilee USA/US Trade Rep Tai meeting on vaccines and COVID response

Eric LeCompte and Jubilee USA Network are featured in Crux on the recent meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and the push to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article. 

Religious leaders push waiver on patents for COVID vaccines

By John Lavenburg 

If world leaders don’t take steps this fall to get COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries, according to Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, then the darkest days of the pandemic still lie ahead.

"Temporarily waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents is an important step to accomplishing that goal," LeCompte said. Earlier this week, religious leaders advocated for that action to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who expressed support.

“If [the World Trade Organization] doesn’t move forward, we’re not going to have the vaccines we need for global distribution, let alone what it seems now are a necessity for a third shot or booster shot for people who have already been vaccinated in the developed world,” LeCompte told Crux.

The meeting with Tai was the first of its kind between religious leaders and the U.S. Trade Representative. Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, who is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, represented the Catholic Church.

LeCompte said Broglio and the other religious leaders were able to “very profoundly share the stories of what’s happening in most of the world” when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, and convey the need for urgent action on issues such as the temporarily waiving the property rights on COVID-19 vaccines.

“It already may be too late to curb some of the great challenges we’re going to face, and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that the World Trade Organization went on vacation instead of dealing with the most urgent matter before it,” LeCompte said. “It’s unfortunate that world leaders have been slow to act over the summer at the G-7 and G-20 with making decisions that need to be made in terms of financing and aid for global vaccine distribution.”

 

Read more here.

 

Read More

Jubilee USA statement on the passing of Richard Trumka

Washington DC – Labor leader Richard Trumka passed away at 72. Trumka was President of the AFL-CIO, the largest US union.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, worked with Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO was a founding member of Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte issues the following statement on Trumka's passing:

Rich Trumka's passing is incredibly sad.

He was a powerful voice for workers and the vulnerable.

I remember the meetings he convened with the leaders of the largest unions in his office to meet with Jubilee on supporting debt and disaster relief for Puerto Rico. It was his leadership that made sure the labor community understood the urgent need to advocate for Puerto Rico's recovery.

While Trumka fought for the rights of workers, he was a deep supporter of efforts of the religious community to advocate for trade rules that protected poor people and promoted healthcare.

This week, he ensured the AFL-CIO showed its support for our religious leader roundtable with US Trade Representative Tai.

Trumka's conviction, voice and actions stemmed from his faith. Coming from a coal mining family, he often shared stories of how the Catholic Church defended the rights of workers. He saw the Church as being the ally of those who struggled to have a better life."

Read More

Trade Rep Tai and major religious leaders hold historic meeting on vaccines and COVID response

Washington DC – Some of the highest ranking religious leaders met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to express support for waiving vaccine patents. The measure, the religious leaders argue, will increase COVID vaccine access for developing countries. 

“The meeting with Tai was positive and she understands the urgent need to increase vaccine production for developing countries,” shared Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA which organized the Tai meeting with religious leaders. “Waiving vaccine COVID patents will help produce more vaccines and save lives in the developing world.”

According to the United Nations, poor countries received less than 1% of COVID vaccine doses. The World Trade Organization is considering temporarily waiving pharmaceutical patents so developing countries could produce vaccines, tests and treatments.

Leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ Churches and AFL-CIO joined Jubilee USA for the meeting. Beyond COVID response, the group discussed trade policies that protect the environment and jobs and prevent future crises in developing countries. 

"Religious institutions and voices are strongly urging that all COVID solutions protect the vulnerable, jobs and our planet," noted LeCompte. "This is the first time a US Trade Representative met with major religious leaders. The meeting was important because all of the faith leaders represent communities in the developing world who are facing devastating third and fourth waves of the pandemic."

In March, Jubilee USA organized a meeting between high-ranking faith leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on pandemic response.

View the US Trade Representative Tai/Jubilee USA Network roundtable agenda and speakers list here.

Read about the WTO COVID vaccine patent waiver process here.

Read about the Secretary Yellen/Jubilee USA Network roundtable here.

Read More

Eric LeCompte quoted on The Guardian on recent IMF announcement

Eric LeCompte was quoted in The Guardian on the International Monetary Fund's recent announcement finalizing the allocation of $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article. 

What they said about the IMF announcement

Following the news about the IMF’s allocation of $650billion in Special Drawing Rights - some campaigners are calling for rich nations to donate their share to poorer countries.

Eric LeCompte, executive director at Jubilee USA Network, a US religious development organization, said developing countries need more aid to get over the crisis prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Wealthy countries receive most of these emergency reserves and must donate them to developing countries."

 

Read more here.

Read More

Bloomberg cites Eric LeCompte on IMF's approval of $650 billion SDRs

Bloomberg cites Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on their call to the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

IMF Nations Approve Record $650 Billion to Aid Virus Fight

By Eric Martin

Member nations approved the biggest resource injection in the International Monetary Fund’s history, with $650 billion meant to help countries deal with mounting debt and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Group of Seven advanced economies in June endorsed a plan to reallocate $100 billion of new SDRs to poorer countries, but the G-20 in July only specified support for a general allocation of $650 billion in SDRs, without detailing how much would be re-lent.

More than 200 groups including the Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit organization that advocates for debt relief for developing countries, had called on the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs, saying the funds are needed to help free up resources for health care and social spending.

“Developing countries need more aid to get beyond the crisis,” Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said in a statement late Monday. “Wealthy countries receive most of these emergency reserves and must donate them to developing countries.”

Read More

IMF approves $650 billion in emergency currency to combat pandemic

Washington DC – The IMF Board of Governors convened a special virtual session for final approval of US $650 billion in emergency reserve currency or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Countries will receive their share of Special Drawing Rights on August 23rd.

“More than $200 billion of these new reserve funds will go to developing countries to support pandemic relief and recovery efforts,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “While these resources are needed, developing countries must receive more aid to get beyond the crisis.”

More than $400 billion of the emergency currency goes to wealthy countries. Wealthy countries can donate their SDRs to developing countries directly, or through initiatives from the IMF or development banks.

“Most wealthy countries don't need their share of Special Drawing Rights and they need to donate them quickly to developing countries struggling with the health and economic crisis,” stated LeCompte.

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

 

Read More