Jubilee USA Statement on World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings and IMFC Communiqué

Washington DC - World leaders, finance ministers, heads of corporations and development groups are meeting virtually for the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF policymaking body, discussed policy responses to the global COVID-19 economic crisis, including tax, aid, vaccines, Special Drawing Rights and debt processes to support developing countries.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, who monitors the IMF, releases the following statement on the IMFC Communiqué and IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings:

"While noting its analysis is uncertain, the IMF continues to herald a faster global economic recovery. At the same time, the IMF is saying that most countries will be worse off than they were before the pandemic. 

"This week, the IMF released analysis that forecasts stronger recovery centered on two countries, the United States and China. The same IMF analysis notes most countries will continue to struggle and developing countries will lose decades of development gains.

“Wide differences in resources between rich and poor countries sow the seeds of a more unequal post-COVID economy.

“The support for the creation of $650 billion in emergency reserve funds, or Special Drawing Rights, means new resources for developing countries struggling with the pandemic.

"Thanks to the United States Treasury and the IMF, consensus is growing on a global minimum corporate tax. 

"A global minimum corporate tax means new revenues to fight poverty and address inequality.

"A global digital tax agreement can provide additional revenues for coronavirus-hit developing countries. 

"Almost 95 million people entered the ranks of extreme poverty due to the pandemic over the last year. As developing countries face decades of lost development gains, we need to do more to ensure that all countries recover, not just rich countries.

"According to the IMF, the entire future of the global economy hinges on the pace of global vaccination.

“Debt relief is not moving quickly enough to address the needs of all developing countries struggling with the pandemic.

"I'm incredibly concerned by references in G20 and IMF statements about ending debt relief measures as suffering increases in developing countries.

“The poorest countries will need to spend $450 billion over five years to fight the pandemic and restart some growth. Only significant debt cuts and aid can get them there.

"As deficits and debts rise in many developing countries, rising interest rates in wealthy economies could precipitate another global financial crisis.

"It's critical that world leaders are placing more emphasis on solving the climate crisis as we tackle the health and economic crises spurred by the coronavirus.

"In the next months, we must focus more on moving forward processes to prevent the next crisis. Had world leaders implemented past global agreements on crisis prevention, we'd have the tools in place to deal with the current crisis."

Read the IMFC Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's release on 260 faith, labor, human rights, and other groups pressing the IMF, G20 and White House on a COVID response here.

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

Read Jubilee USA's release on the IMF's Global Financial Stability report here.

Read Jubilee USA's release on the IMF's World Economic Outlook report here.
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Reuters, Fox Business Covers Jubilee USA Letter to the IMF, G20 and White House on COVID Response

Reuters covers Jubilee USA's Covid letter to G20 leaders, the IMF, and the White House in support of debt relief expansion measures. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

G20 to boost IMF war chest, extend debt-servicing freeze

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Associated Press, MarketWatch, Fox Feature Eric LeCompte on G20 Temporary Debt Payment Moratorium

Associated Press, MarketWatch, Fox, and hundreds of local outlets quote Eric LeCompte on the G20's temporary debt payment moratorium. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Major economies support $650 billion boost in IMF resources

By Martin Crutsinger

The proposal to increase the IMF’s resources received a boost earlier this year when it got the backing of the Biden administration. The resources are known as IMF Special Drawing Rights and create an asset that countries can use to bolster their own reserves.

The proposal still needs approval from the IMF’s board and then contributions from member countries.

The debt-payment deal extends the moratorium begun last year until the end of this year. But international aid groups expressed unhappiness that the G-20 is saying the extension will be the final one to be offered.

“We’ve seen progress on debt relief and aid, but we still need to solve multiple challenges so countries can get through this crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network. “It is unlikely that the breathing space indebted countries get with this extension will be enough.”

 

Read the full article here.

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Common Dreams Pens In-Depth Article on Jubilee COVID Letter Endorsed by 260 Organizations

Common Dreams quotes Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's letter urging additional debt relief measures in low- and middle-income countries. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

'We Must Do More': Hundreds of Advocacy Groups Urge Biden, G20, and IMF to Increase Pandemic Aid

By Common Dreams

While both the G20 and IMF have agreed to temporarily suspend debt payments for dozens of developing nations, Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert who heads the Jubilee USA Network, said these moves are not enough. 

"World leaders worked hard over the last year to tackle the health and economic crises spurred by the [Covid-19] pandemic," said LeCompte on Wednesday. "We must do more. Unless we take immediate action to solidify more aid and relief, we face lost decades of development and millions more will suffer." 

Finance ministers from G7 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—last month agreed to create emergency reserve funds, or Special Drawing Rights (SDR), in what LeCompte at the time called an effort "to confront the [Covid-19] economic crisis that is ravaging developing countries."

 

Read the full article here.

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Jubilee USA Statement on G20 Communiqué's COVID Response and Recovery Plans

Washington DC – The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met on global COVID-19 response and plans for a green and inclusive recovery ahead of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the G20 Communiqué:

"We've seen progress on debt relief and aid, but we still need to solve multiple challenges so countries can get through this crisis.

“The G20 extended debt payment relief for the 73 poorest countries until end-2021. However, the G20 states this is the final extension. It is unlikely that the breathing space indebted countries get with this extension will be enough.

“Unfortunately, the G20 continues to hope that the private sector will participate in debt relief without more compelling actions on the part of the G20.

"We are seeing some of the most significant increases in poverty and job loss in developing middle-income countries. Not enough is being done by the G20 to address the challenges these countries face because of the pandemic.

"The real tests of the common framework, is how successful the process will be in reducing debt and involving the private sector.

"Ideally, the common framework or a process like that will be extended to developing middle-income countries.

“The decision to upgrade the sustainable finance study group that China and the US lead, to a working group, reflects the increased prominence of climate finance in the G20 agenda."

Read the G20 Communiqué here.

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260 Faith, Labor and Development Groups Press IMF, G20 and White House on COVID Response

Ahead of Spring IMF and World Bank Meetings, World's Largest Unions, Human Rights Groups, Environmental and Religious Institutions, Call for Aid, Debt Relief, Access to Emergency Reserves and Climate Protections 

Washington DC – As G20, IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings convene virtually on global COVID response, 260 groups call for developing country aid and policies to prevent future crises and protect the environment.

Organized by Jubilee USA Network, 260 religious groups, anti-poverty organizations, labor unions, environmental and human rights institutions signed a letter on coronavirus crisis response to the White House, G20 and IMF. 

“World leaders worked hard over the last year to tackle the health and economic crises spurred by the COVID pandemic," said Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert who heads the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Jubilee USA spearheaded the letter effort. “We must do more. Unless we take immediate action to solidify more aid and relief, we face lost decades of development and millions more will suffer.”

The G20 agreed to suspend debt payments for 73 developing countries through next June and created a process for the same countries to reduce debt. The IMF announced it would cancel debt payments for 28 of the world's poorest countries into October.

In recent weeks, the G7 supported an allocation of emergency reserve funds or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Treasury notified Congress of support for the aid and the G20 is expected to announce support for SDRs this week.

“If the IMF and G20 move forward emergency reserves, it means right away developing countries can access more than $200 billion to fight the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus," stated LeCompte. "We will likely see another additional process where hundreds of billions of more dollars in Special Drawing Rights could be transferred from wealthy countries to developing countries for further support."

Major religious institutions lead the Jubilee USA letter to the IMF, White House and G20. The signers include: The Union for Reform Judaism, All Africa Conference of Churches, National Council of Churches 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, companion joint letter with Jubilee USA Network and Pope Francis called again for a debt relief process in his Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

Counting their membership in the millions, labor bodies including the International Trade Union Confederation, 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 on letter. Other signers include human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Pax Christi and also environmental advocates ranging from Amazon Watch to Friends of the Earth. Development groups were represented and included Islamic Relief, American Jewish World Service, American Friends Service Committee, Bread for the World, Action Aid, Oxfam, RESULTS and Health Gap.

On March 16th, Jubilee USA organized a roundtable with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the highest-ranking leaders to specifically go over the calls in the Jubilee letter. A separate letter with 240 groups supporting SDRs was sent to the G20. The additional G20 SDR letter was coordinated by Jubilee USA and LATINDADD.

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

Read the joint US Conference of Catholic Bishops/Jubilee USA Network Letter to President Biden here.

Read about Jubilee USA's High-Level Roundtable with Secretary Yellen here.

Read Jubilee USA's release on the IMF's Global Financial Stability report here.

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

Read about the IMF extending a process to cancel debt payments for the world's 28 poorest countries here.

Read about the IMF announcing support for $650 billion in emergency reserves here.

Read the letter from 240 groups to the IMF and G20 here.
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BBC World Features Eric LeCompte for 6 Minute Segment on Global COVID Economic Solutions

BBC's Business Matters interviews Eric Lecompte on the urgent need for international action on debt relief in developing and middle-income countries. Click here to listen to the episode from 4:00 to 9:44. 

IMF: Rich world recovering faster than expected

By BBC Business Matters

Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte 

"These middle-income developing countries have stronger economies than the 77 poorest countries in the world, and right now, these particular countries are looking at the highest risk in terms of growing poverty rates, famine rates, and job loss."

"At the same time, these middle-income developing countries are also countries that have been left out of solutions proposed so far by the G20 and IMF in terms of aid packages and debt relief."

"We have seen a quite significant global conversation take place on expanding debt relief and increasing aid for the developing world."

"We see that the G20, as well as the IMF, are much more serious about ensuring that there is debt cancellation for the poorest countries."

"It's the developing middle-income countries that are going to see some of the most significant suffering, and that's where we need to move and increase debt relief measures."

 

Click here to listen to the episode from 4:00 to 9:44.

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IMF: Indebted Countries Suffer if US Interest Rates Rise

Washington DC – The IMF warns that rising US interest rates could impact the ability of developing countries to pay debt, leading to prolonged economic crisis. The warning comes ahead of IMF, G20 and World Bank meetings, with the Fund's release of the Global Financial Stability Report.

“All countries that defaulted over the last year were middle-income countries,” said Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “Unfortunately, developing middle-income countries are not included in IMF and G20 debt relief solutions."

The report warns that recovery from the pandemic will be unequal between rich and poor countries and that more needs to be done to strengthen long-term stability around the globe. This morning the IMF released the World Economic Outlook Report estimating that 95 million more people fell into extreme poverty over the last year, living on less than $1.90 a day.

"Wealthy countries invested in big stimulus packages and can rebound more quickly," said LeCompte. "Billions of people in developing countries are left behind and their lives will be even worse after the pandemic."

Read the IMF's Global Financial Stability report here.

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

Read about the IMF extending a process to cancel debt payments for the world's 28 poorest countries here.

Read about the IMF announcing support for $650 billion in emergency reserves here.

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IMF Reports Pandemic Economic Outlook Uncertain

Amidst Rising Inequality, Ninety-Five Million Could Fall into Extreme Poverty  

Washington DC – "The pandemic will reverse the progress made since the 1990s in reducing global poverty and will increase inequality," states the IMF in its flagship World Economic Outlook report. 

"The forecasts of rising inequality and tens of millions of people falling into extreme poverty must be averted," stated Eric LeCompte who monitors the IMF and is the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "We can reverse these dire predictions with strong aid packages and deep debt relief for all developing countries."

According to the Fund, the crisis could drive 95 million more people into extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day.

"We have the resources and the ability to act now," said LeCompte. "We cannot allow decades of development to be lost." 

Some wealthy countries are rebounding more quickly due to stimulus, according to the IMF.

"While IMF forecasts remain uncertain due to the depth of the crisis, the Fund predicts inequality will deepen between rich and poor countries," noted LeCompte.

Read the IMF's World Economic Outlook report here.

Read about the IMF extending a process to cancel debt payments for the world's 28 poorest countries here.

Read about the IMF announcing support for $650 billion in emergency reserves here.

 

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Fox News, Fortune and Reuters Interview Eric LeCompte on Leadership of Women in Global Economy

Eric LeCompte discusses the importance of leadership from women in global economic decisions. LeCompte speaks about his recent meeting with Treasury Secretary Yellen. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

What happens when women run the economy? We're about to find out

By Andrea Shalal

A study by the American Psychological Association showed that U.S. states with female governors had fewer COVID-19 deaths than those led by men, and Harvard Business Review reported that women got significantly better ratings in 360-degree assessments of 60,000 leaders between March to June 2020.

Women account for less than 2% of CEOs at financial institutions and less than 20% of executive board members, but the institutions they do run show greater financial resilience and stability, IMF research shows.

Eric LeCompte, a UN adviser and executive director of a non-profit that advocates for debt relief, said he noticed a clear difference during a meeting with Yellen and the leaders of Christian and Jewish faith groups last month.

“I’ve been meeting with Treasury secretaries for 20 years, and their talking points have been entirely different,” he said. “In every area we discussed, Yellen put an emphasis on empathy, and the impact of policies on vulnerable communities.”

Her male predecessors had a “brass tacks” approach that focused first on “numbers not people” and never mentioned words like “vulnerable,” he said.

 

Read the full article here.

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IMF Cancels Debt for 28 Poor Countries into Fall of 2021

Washington DC – The IMF Executive Board extended a process to cancel debt payments for the world's 28 poorest countries. 

"This is good news for poor countries struggling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who worked on the creation of the debt relief mechanism. "Cancelling debt, for these vulnerable countries, means resources can be spent on healthcare and social services."

The IMF debt relief process, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) provided debt relief for the last year and now continues debt relief through October 15, 2021. The process previously offered debt relief for Haiti and three African countries hit by Ebola crises.

"While this is important debt relief in the short term, we now need to work on cancelling debts for the long term for these countries," said LeCompte. "Only long-term debt reduction can support developing countries to emerge from the pandemic with resilience."

Read the IMF release on the CCRT extension here.

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Media Hits, Big News, Your Help

Friends,

Please see below the incredible news coverage Jubilee USA and our joint efforts received in recent months.

This week we won our big campaign to release $650 billion in global SDR reserve funds for developing countries. This comes after our historic discussion with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to move our coronavirus response efforts.

Below you'll see how the media is showing the successes of our campaigns. Before you read all of the news coverage, please take action:

1.) Next week world leaders will make decisions on our coronavirus response campaigns. Please sign our petition here.

2.) Over 220 religious, labor, environmental, human rights and development groups have signed our coronavirus response letter to President Biden, the IMF and G20. Please have your group sign by April 6th before they make their next COVID decisions here.

3.) Donations to support our Jubilee USA mission and corona response campaigns are doubled now. Please make a gift

From the Wall Street Journal to Fox News to the Financial Times, the New York Times and your local paper - below you can find a sampling of how the global media has told our Jubilee USA 2021 story.

Gratefully,

Zach

Zachary Conti
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

JUBILEE IN THE NEWS
 

Climate Change is 'Big One' of 'Emerging Risks,' Says Treasury Sec. Townhall (March 31st)

Rare IMF relief offers a hope of green recovery to debt-laden nations Climate Home News (March 26th)

IMF Mulls Creating $650 Billion in Reserves After Yellen Nod  Bloomberg (March 23rd)

IMF staff recommends new allocation of $650 billion in emergency reserves: sources  Reuters, Fox, New York Times (March 23rd)

Religious, labor leaders optimistic after meeting with treasury secretary  The Catholic Spirit (March 22nd)

Catholic bishops meet with U.S. Treasury head to discuss COVID economic crisis Crux (March 19)

G-7 leaders support 'sizeable' Special Drawing Rights allocation  Devex (March 19th)

Papal priorities reflected in Yellen meeting, Catholic participants say National Catholic Reporter

(March 18th)

Nelson joins faith leaders in virtual roundtable discussion with US Treasury secretary Presbyterian Outlook (March 18th)

Yellen Tells Faith Leaders Poor Nations Need Help on Covid-19  Bloomberg (March 17th)

Yellen vows to use 'full power' of U.S. government to tackle climate change Reuters (March 17th)

US Treasury secretary meets with faith leaders about debt, COVID-19 Devex (March 17th)

UCC president, other faith leaders meet with Treasury Secretary Yellen on global pandemic response  United Church of Christ UCC News (March 17th)

Yellen to meet religious leaders, NGO group pushing for debt relief Reuters, New York Times, Fox (March 16th)

G-20 Moves Toward Consensus on IMF Reserve Firepower Boost Bloomberg (Feb 26th)

More than 200 groups urge G20 to back IMF issuance to help poor countries in pandemic Reuters (Feb 25th)

In Brief: US Treasury indicates support for SDRs in letter to the G-20 Devex (Feb 25th)

Yellen backs new allocation of IMF's SDR currency to help poor nations  Reuters (Feb 25th)

Religious Leaders urge Biden to support global coronavirus aid, debt relief The Record, Catholic Spirit and Catholic News (Feb 24)

In Brief: Catholic bishops call on Biden to expand debt relief, aid  Devex (Feb 24th) 

U.S. Catholic leaders urge Biden to lead drive for more aid to poor countries Reuters and US News (Feb 24th) 

Luis Miranda: He gets the job done National Catholic Reporter (Feb 19th)

Biden Urged to End Trump Lawsuit Blocking Payments to Puerto Ricans U.S. News (Feb 16th)

Biden reestablishes White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships National Catholic Reporter (Feb 14th)

Ivory Coast shows up debt relief flaws Refinitiv (Feb 12th)

In Brief: US urges G-7 to 'go big' on COVID-19 response Devex (Feb 12th)

U.S. tells G7 that it is back at the table to help with global recovery Reuters and New York Times (Feb 12th)

Zambia seeks debt restructuring under G20 common framework Reuters and Financial Post (Feb 5th)

Chad becomes first country to ask for debt overhaul under G20 common framework Reuters (Jan 28th)

Environmental activists cheer Biden’s decision to stop pipeline project Crux (Jan 27th)

Joe Biden’s Economic To-Do List U.S. News & World Report (Jan 22nd) 

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