IMF Says Historic Low Growth and Sluggish Economy Will Continue

Debt and War Present Major Global Economic Challenges According to IMF

The IMF forecast 3.1% global growth in 2024, a fifth of a point increase on its October projection. According to the IMF, the new forecast is still below the 3.8% growth average during the two pre-pandemic decades. The report noted risks to trade routes as a result of war and that the Israel and Gaza conflict spreads and sends food and fuel costs to new highs.

“Most countries are facing economic challenges while their debt payments are too high,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "When countries need resources and interest rates on loans are high, we have a recipe for more crises."

Developing countries spend 13% of their budgets repaying debt, more than double the figure 15 years ago, and debt problems prevent necessary investments, according to the IMF. High rates moved by major central banks, in attempts to contain inflation, fuel a higher cost of borrowing for these countries.

“While developing countries are still dealing with challenges from the pandemic, slow growth and high debts are bad news,” added LeCompte. “Developing countries need debt relief and more resources to confront continuing economic shocks."

Earlier this month, the World Bank found that 40% of the low-income countries are poorer than before the pandemic. Developing country debt payments were at the highest level ever in 2022 and expected to continue to grow.

Read the IMF's World Economic Outlook Update here.

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US News Quotes Eric LeCompte on Economic Challenges Faced by Developing Countries

U.S. News & World Report quotes Eric LeCompte on the economic challenges faced by developing countries due to the pandemic and high debt. Read an excerpt below, or the full article here

Resilient U.S. Boosts IMF Forecast for Global Economic Growth

By Tim Smart

Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, also noted that many countries still face the twin concerns of dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic and crushing debt burdens.

“Most countries are facing economic challenges while their debt payments are too high,” he said "When countries need resources and interest rates on loans are high, we have a recipe for more crises."

LeCompte also stated that developing countries spend 13% of their budgets repaying debt, more than double the figure 15 years ago.

“While developing countries are still dealing with challenges from the pandemic, slow growth and high debts are bad news,” LeCompte added. “Developing countries need debt relief and more resources to confront continuing economic shocks."



Read more here

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Eric LeCompte Comments on Davos 2024 in America Magazine

America Magazine quotes Eric LeCompte on the current global economic system's inability to eradicate poverty. Read an excerpt below, or the full article here

The Weekly Dispatch: Wisdom from Pope Francis for the billionaires meeting in Davos

By Kevin Clarke

Eric LeCompte is the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of religious, development and advocacy groups focused on debt relief for the world’s poorest economies. He believes “from a Catholic point of view,” there is good reason to look askance at some of the “false promises” coming out of Davos, including “the idea that artificial intelligence, better technology and the economic system as it is can deal with global poverty, deal with inequality, create the jobs we need as well as protecting our planet.”

“These are messages that the church has been skeptical about,” he says, “knowing that throughout human history, unless we have an ethical economy, no matter what technology we have or what new systems or new businesses we have, we’re not going to create the world that is…promised, where we all have enough.”

Davos is an experience, Mr. LeCompte says, where important ideas are discussed, business relationships secured and deals made, but in the end not much is practically achieved in terms of addressing global poverty and inequity. Its relevance has been even more diminished, he believes, since the arrival of tech giants on the Davos scene, who use the conference to showcase their digital wares and vision. To many it is merely “the best party in Europe.”



Read more here.

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2023 Jubilee Report: Historic NY Leg, Puerto Rico, Billions Won, Gains and Challenges


Our 2023 Jubilee report is out. Through pictures and words our year-end report details our work over the last year from New York to Africa to Puerto Rico.

Please read and share our 2023 end-of-year report that details how our Jubilee efforts are saving lives and livelihoods and protecting our planet. 

We won billions in aid this year for developing countries. Our Executive Director Eric LeCompte addressed 46 presidents and primeministers of these countries on how to move their populations from poverty to prosperity.

We changed global policies on debt and development. We appeared in tens of thousands of news outlets. 

Read and share our Jubilee USA Network 2023 end-of-year report. 

We look forward to continuing our productive efforts, together, in the new year.


Aldo Caliari
Senior Director of Policy and Campaigns
Jubilee USA Network
[email protected]

PS. Please make a tax-deductive donation to Jubilee USA before the year end. Your donation is doubled now.

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Climate Summit Agrees to Reduce Use of Fossil Fuels and Commits More Resources to Fight Climate Change

Pope Francis and Africa Catholic Bishops Call for Debt Relief to Fight Climate Change Impact on Developing Countries

Nearly 200 countries agreed to cut the use of all fossil fuels during COP28, the UN climate change conference that concluded in Dubai. According to the UN, the world is facing catastrophic temperature changes unless countries take more dramatic action to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. 

 “While we saw important commitments in Dubai, we are not taking action quickly enough to address climate change," said Eric LeCompte who serves on United Nations expert groups and is the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Developing countries urgently need more resources as they wrestle with some of the worst impacts of climate change."

Developing countries need to spend $2.4 trillion on climate challenges and another $3 trillion on other development priorities, noted a group of experts commissioned by previous COP presidents. 

"The Dubai agreement noted that countries need more aid, relief and cheap loans to avoid increasing debt," stated LeCompte.

In 2023, spending on debt service will be 12.5 times higher than spending on climate adaptation, according to a brief Jubilee USA Network and other organizations launched in November.

Africa's Catholic Bishops said that while Africa is historically not responsible for global warming, the region suffers the highest vulnerability to it. The statement by the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Catholic Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) called for removing the obstacle of debt and scaling up aid to the region in the lead up to the new Jubilee 2025 year. In Pope Francis' address to COP28, delivered by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, Francis called for solutions that do not penalize “the development of many countries, already burdened by grave economic debt,” and called for “remitting” such debts.

"We will not raise the money we need to address climate challenges without debt relief," shared LeCompte.

During the conference the World Bank announced its loans to vulnerable countries will include clauses that pause debt payments temporarily when the debtor suffers a climate-related disaster.  

“Debt payment pause clauses in loan contracts are essential to more fairly share climate change burdens and impacts of disaster between creditors and debtors,” added LeCompte. “We need these types of clauses in all loan contracts.”  

The conference launched a fund to compensate countries for climate-related losses, attracting initial donor pledges totaling $800 million.

“Droughts, storms, floods, poorer harvests and rising health problems are among the many climate effects hurting developing countries,” expressed LeCompte. “While we have critical commitments to raise resources to combat climate change, we will need more."

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COP28 Climate Summit Negotiations Focus on Commitments for Developing Countries to Adapt and Solve Climate Crisis

Most Developing Countries Spend More on Debt Service than on Addressing Country Climate Crisis Challenges

Dubai prepares to host nearly 170 prime ministers and presidents as part of COP28, this year’s United Nations conference to reach agreements on measures to stop climate change. High on the agenda are negotiations on climate aid for developing countries to address growing challenges from the climate crisis including greater natural disasters, rising sea levels and forest destruction.

"Wealthy countries pledged to provide some resources for developing countries to address the growing climate crises that are impacting their people," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "The commitments weren't enough and what was committed hasn't materialized. The climate summit needs to find out where the money is coming from and how to increase resources to address the climate crisis."

Delegates seek to finalize details on a fund to compensate developing countries for climate-related damage that last year’s climate conference agreed on. A 24-country committee tasked with developing details on contributions and operational aspects of the fund, released its proposal earlier this month.

“The Dubai negotiations need to finalize the funding and structure of the loss and damage climate fund so vulnerable countries get some relief soon,” added LeCompte. "Ninety percent of developing countries pay more on debt service than on climate spending. Debt relief and new sources of aid will need to be on the table if we are to raise the resources we need."

A range of governments, experts and civil society organizations are pushing climate summit negotiators to agree on a number of ways for countries to raise resources, including debt relief. Proposals and decisions include addressing which countries need debt relief, climate clauses in debt contracts, controlling interest rates and cheap loans.

According to the OECD, the pledge wealthy countries made in 2009 to transfer $100 billion in annual climate finance to developing countries, remains unfulfilled. The Dubai gathering assesses progress as well as to continue negotiations towards a new climate goal starting in 2025.

“With what we know about climate today and the impacts on our health and planet, the new climate finance goal should be much larger than 2009,” shared LeCompte. "In addition to the climate crisis, countries are wrestling with food and fuel crises, poverty, poor economic growth and shocks from the pandemic."

G20 leaders meeting in New Delhi in September agreed that $100 billion a year is the floor for any new climate finance commitments.

“During the summit, it will be crucial to watch the G20 and the IMF as they are key for setting climate goals and moving forward the resources we need,” said LeCompte.
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Confront Crisis, Spread Jubilee on Giving Tuesday

Dear Friend,

Today, #GivingTuesday, falls during multiple global crises that can often feel like too much to comprehend. Because of you, Jubilee USA won hundreds of billions of aid to confront the pandemic and debt, food, disaster and climate crises. World leaders are considering our proposals to prevent future crises. These solutions are needed to help every day households in the US, Puerto Rico and the entire world.

Please donate to Jubilee USA Network to support our mission and efforts to address global crises and the structures that create poverty, inequality and harm to our planet. Your tax-deductible gift is matched and doubled now.

Over the past year, your generosity meant:

  • The New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act, with bipartisan support, was the first global debt relief legislation to move out of committee in the New York State legislature in 20 years

  • From the US and other wealthy countries, we won pledges of $87 billion in Special Drawing Rights to support developing countries

  • The G20 approved proposals that increase development bank loans, aid and grants by $15 billion a year, and we are moving them to provide hundreds of billions more

  • As 60% of Puerto Rico's children live in poverty, we convened the leaders of the largest Puerto Rico and US religious groups to sign a letter to Congress calling for Puerto Rico to receive the same level of nutritional assistance (food stamps) that US States receive

  • We organized and supported a New York, national and global coalition of over 60 groups, comprising the largest unions, major religious institutions, development groups, notable economists, finance ministers, powerful environmental organizations, our global partners and high-level United Nations officials

  • In partnership with Africa's interfaith religious leaders and biggest religious institutions, we are advocating for debt relief, new economic policies and effective use of aid resources for pandemic response, the climate crisis and recovery in Africa

  • We convened some of the world's most notable experts for a process to improve debt relief assessments and align them with labor, human development and climate goals

  • The US and other wealthy countries committed to a minimum of $100 billion in climate finance after 2025, and a new fund to compensate countries most vulnerable to climate change

  • We addressed world leaders at some of the largest global decision-making forums at the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund

  • Hundreds of thousands of newspapers and television and radio shows covered our Jubilee USA efforts

Please join me and make a tax-deductible gift this #GivingTuesday, so Jubilee USA can continue to create and advocate for solutions that save lives, our planet, and prevent future crisis. Donations are doubled now.

In solidarity,

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte

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Jubilee in the News


Jubilee USA continues to receive major news coverage on our efforts to end poverty, address inequality and protect our planet. Please see below a sampling of our media hits.

Gifts to support Jubilee's efforts are doubled now.



Aldo Caliari
Senor Director of Policy and Campaigns
Jubilee USA Network


US bishops endorse Puerto Rico’s appeal for equal food assistance Crux (November 14th)

Will World Bank, IMF rescue developing economies from growing debt conundrum? News Agency of Nigeria (October 25th) 

The New York Legislature Could Help Free the Global South from Crushing Debt Jacobin (October 14th)

Change approach to Africa, Catholic bishops urge IMF, World Bank The Herald (October 13th)

G20 communique omits mention of Middle East conflict Reuters, the New York Times, US News (October 13th)

World's Higher-for-Longer Rate Era Stokes Worry Bloomberg (October 13th)

You have to change your approach to Africa, Catholic bishops urge IMF, World Bank news24 (October 12th)

What’s on the menu in Marrakech Devex (October 12th)

World Bank urges cooling of Israel-Gaza conflict as annual meetings start Reuters (October 9th)

IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings Global Finance (October 9th)

Multi-Faith Network leaders call for transparency in IMF bailout funds utilisation Ghana Business News (September 29th) 

The UN can talk SDGs all it wants, without money it means little for Africa, experts warn news24 (September 21st)

Africa in the G20: The good, the bad, and the changing climate news24 (September 12th)

Bishops join African faith leaders in call for debt relief The Tablet (August 28th)

Catholic bishops, faith leaders appeal for debt relief to help African countries National Catholic Reporter (August 24th)

African Faith Leaders Recommended "large investments" to Address Continent's Economic Crisis Association for Catholic Information in Africa (August 9th)

African Faith Leaders discuss strategies to navigate contemporary crises Vatican News (August 8th)

Godongwana may need to revise South Africa’s 2023 growth forecast IOL (July 19th)

Devex Invested: Setbacks for an ambitious plan to ease global debt woes Devex (June 13th)

Ambitious N.Y. bill takes aim at global debt woes Axios (June 12th)

How New York State Could Unlock Billions for Climate Finance The New Republic (June 9th)

Wall Street Scores Victory as NY Lawmakers Stall Vote on EM Debt Bills Bloomberg (June 8th)

New York bill would rewrite rules for sovereign debt restructurings Nikkei Asia (June 7th)

Investors brace for new law on sovereign debt workouts Financial Times (June 5th)

New York Bills That Cap Key EM Debt Payouts Rile Pimco, Fidelity Bloomberg (May 18th)

Jubilee USA Pushes NY To Enact International Debt Relief Law The Sanctuary of Independent Media (May 5th)

How the World Bank, IMF, and G20 Are Tackling Inequality, Climate Rising Up With Sonali (April 1st)

Challenged by Poor Access to External Financing, Aid, Least Developed Countries Must Mobilize Domestic Resources, Promote Investment, Speakers Stress at Doha Roundtable United Nations (March 8th)

US names pick for World Bank Arkansas Online (February 24th)

US Nominates Ajay Banga as World Bank Chief Globe Echo (February 23th)

US nominates Ajay Banga for World Bank president Associated Press, Washington Post, ABC (February 23th)

New York state bill seen aiding poor country debt relief Reuters, New York Times, Yahoo (February 17th)

China, U.S. to participate in first meeting of new debt roundtable on Feb. 17 Reuters (February 13th)

Yellen: World Bank Should Incorporate Climate, Pandemic in Fight to End Poverty West Orlando News (February 11th)

No real solutions coming from World Economic Forum in Davos National Catholic Reporter (January 23th)

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Jubilee 2025, Peace, Darkness, Thanks, a World Where Everyone has Enough


As we celebrate this time to give thanks to our Creator for creating a world where there is enough for everyone, we acknowledge that we are living in a world of crisis and darkness - a world where too many are prevented from enough.

Our headlines this Thanksgiving are of wars in Israel, Gaza and Ukraine. We are living with food and fuel costs that are out of control. Poverty and inequality are on the rise. The most basic commitments we've worked for on the climate crisis seem distant and out of reach.

And yet - we give thanks for our community and what we've won over the last year and the last 25 years to lift millions out of poverty, create a path for kids to go to school who never would have gone to school, winning hundreds of billions in emergency pandemic funding, easing student debt and creating the proposals to protect our planet and stop global financial crisis. 

Thanks to you, we saw our biggest mobilization in New York, nationally and internationally. Thanks to you, we are taking on the broken policies of raising interest rates and the impacts on the vulnerable at home and abroad. Thanks to you, our organizing of religious leaders on domestic and global economic issues and moving forward aid for Puerto Rico has deep impacts. We can challenge world leaders for failing to move forward policies to protect the vulnerable and our planet because they won't decide while conflict and terror rage in Gaza and Israel

25 years ago, we began a global movement of unions, environmental organizations, business groups led by the world's largest global religious institutions. We called ourselves Jubilee 2000 as Muslims, Jews and Christians came together to move global policies to end financial crisis and fulfill our Creator's promise of a world where we all have enough and our earth is protected.

Now faith communities will lead unions, environmental organizations and the business to organize for Jubilee 2025. Jubilee 2025 is the next official Jubilee year that faith communities will celebrate as called for by Pope Francis. In preparation for the year - we are inviting you to sign-up your community, congregation, union or group to take action and join in prayer the last week of December through January.

Sign-up your congregation, union or organization to receive action and prayer resources to pray and act for a world where we all have enough and our planet is protected. 

As we build another great mobilization to end poverty, address inequality and protect our planet - your partnership is so needed.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
[email protected]

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte

PS. Donations to support Jubilee USA Network and our mission are doubled now. Please join me and make a generous donation to Jubilee.


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Crux Highlights Jubilee USA Endorsed Religious Leaders Letter on Nutrition and Child Poverty Aid for Puerto Rico

Jubilee USA endorsed US and Puerto Rico religious leaders letter to Congress on nutrition and child poverty aid for Puerto Rico is highlighted in the Crux. Eric LeCompte is also quoted on Puerto Rico's struggles with natural disaster recovery and economic crises. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

US bishops endorse Puerto Rico’s appeal for equal food assistance

By John Lavenburg

The letter was endorsed by Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. It was also endorsed by Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data reflecting statistics from 2021 show that the median household income in Puerto Rico was just under $22,000, and about 42 percent of the island’s 3.2 million citizens live in poverty – well higher than the national average of 12.6 percent.

Compared to SNAP, the food assistance program in Puerto Rico is called the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP). Unlike funding for SNAP, which is fluid based on need, NAP must operate within a fixed budget each fiscal year, and therefore often falls short of providing the proper level of nutritional assistance when disaster strikes.

Read more here.

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Leaders of Largest US and Puerto Rico Churches Urge Congress to Pass Same Level of Food and Child Poverty Aid that US States Receive

Puerto Rico should receive the same nutrition assistance benefits, popularly known as food stamps, as US states receive, noted 28 major religious leaders from Puerto Rico and the United States. In a letter to Congress, the leaders of the largest US and Puerto Rico Christian faiths asked that Puerto Rico be included in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Unlike states, the island is under a block capped grant system, periodically renewed, that cannot expand based on need like US states.

“In spite of the recent debt reduction deal, due to the fiscal conditions accompanying it and amidst rising inflation, more families and children depend on food aid,” the religious leaders said in the letter.

The leaders of Puerto Rico churches signing the letter represent the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical, Presbyterian, Baptist Churches and the Puerto Rico Council of Churches. The Caribbean Institute of Ecumenical Action and Formation, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the General Bible Society also signed. At the national level, religious leadership of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and Jubilee USA Network endorsed the letter.

“Poverty and joblessness remain rampant in Puerto Rico as the island struggles with economic crises and the recovery from natural disasters,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network which organized and endorsed the letter. “The funds for food aid are insufficient.”

This year, Congress will pass a Farm Bill which can set in motion a transition for Puerto Rico, as a US territory, to join the US states’ nutrition benefits program.  

Read the US and Puerto Rico Religious Leaders' Letter to Congress here.

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