National Catholic Reporter Quotes Eric LeCompte on Climate Summit

National Catholic Reporter quotes Eric LeCompte on the representation of developing countries at President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Pope Francis, in Earth Day messages, warns 'we are at the edge' on climate change

By Brian Roewe

In a statement, Jose Aguto, associate director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, said the summit, along with Biden's American Jobs Plan, were "positive steps our nation can take to uplift the dignity of all people and address climate change." An interfaith statement from 13 religious organizations, including Interfaith Power & Light and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, offered "prayers and our hopes for moral leadership" during the summit" and that the U.S. respond to climate change "with urgency, fairness and equity."

"Addressing the scale of this problem in all its dimensions requires us, and indeed all stakeholders, to embrace a whole community approach, with government taking on a significant role," the faith organizations wrote.

Officials with the Maryknoll Offfice in their own statement applauded the summit, calling it "a good step forward in the right direction." Chloe Noël, its faith, economy and ecology program coordinator, said the U.S. commitments "make a just and equitable recovery possible," adding that climate projects worldwide have to include local community participation and respect human rights and environmental integrity.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, was encouraged that the summit included a diverse representation across geography, industry and varying economies. He added it was an important signal that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke and that debt relief for developing countries be considered in conjunction with sustainable investments in those regions.

 

Read the full article here.

Read More

Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter and Crux Feature Eric LeCompte's Views on COVID, Tax, Debt and IMF Meetings

CNS, National Catholic Reporter, Crux and others feature Eric LeCompte's views on COVID, tax and debt relief decisions at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

Advocates welcome global steps to help poor nations with pandemic recovery

By Dennis SadowskiCatholic News Service

Recent decisions by leading financial institutions and the world's leading economies to ease the debt burden of the world's poorest nations will help those countries respond to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the executive director of Jubilee USA said.

The decisions were reached during April meetings of the Group of 20 nations, or G-20, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

"We've made some real progress," said Eric LeCompte, who heads the alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations and has long advocated for financial reforms affecting the world's 73 poorest nations and dozens of other middle-income countries.

"The steps will allow countries to respond to the pandemic and other needs," LeCompte told Catholic News Service April 15. "At the same time, with how serious the crisis is, we recognize we need to do a lot more and in some ways move quickly."

Atop Jubliee USA's priority list was the creation of $650 billion in emergency reserve funds, known as Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs. He described the size of the fund package as the "biggest ever mobilization of such reserves."


Read the full article here.

Read More

America Magazine Pens In-Depth Feature on Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA, Pope Francis, Debt, Covid

America Magazine features Eric LeCompte on Jubilee USA's debt relief work amid the pandemic, complementing Pope Francis' strong calls for debt relief and protection of the vulnerable during this crisis. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

Pope Francis warns us: Covid-19 is not the only global crisis we’re facing right now

Eric LeCompte could not have asked for a more timely and effective celebrity endorsement of the work of the Jubilee USA Network to confront—yet again—a bubbling-under debt crisis that threatens a staggering impact on the world’s most vulnerable people. “We’re approaching the greatest wave of debt crises and debt restructurings the world has ever seen,” he said in an interview with America. “Fifty-six percent of all countries in the world are either [already in] debt crisis or on the verge of debt crisis,” he said, “so it’s an incredibly significant issue, and it’s become more significant because of the coronavirus pandemic.” Nations in Africa have been particularly hard hit, with 14 countries vulnerable to default and nine others in default or on the verge of default.

Decades of progress against extreme poverty is currently at risk, Mr. LeCompte said. A sobering report from the World Bank warned in October that 150 million people could be moving back into extreme poverty this year. “Because of the debt trap and the pandemic, we’re facing the worst losses in development in the last 50 years,” Mr. LeCompte said.

The Group of 20, a policy-making forum of the world’s largest 20 economies, and the I.M.F. have created an emergency process to respond to the crisis for the 73 “very poorest countries in the world”—Zambia, Chad and Ethiopia have already appealed for relief under this emergency debt relief process—but that emergency response still leaves out a substantial number of nations facing overwhelming debt, Mr. LeCompte said.

Then as now, the stakes could not be higher. “Debt means death” was Mr. LeCompte’s blunt summary of the implications of the crises, which have forced low-income states to disburse “more in debt payments than…all of their health care, education and social services combined.”

Click here for the full story.

Read More

Just Love Features Eric LeCompte on Global Covid Response

Just Love interviews Eric LeCompte on the global economic impact of the pandemic, poverty, inequality, climate change, and the work of Jubilee USA. Click here to listen to the episode from 4:45 to 27:47. 

The Global Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Poverty, Inequality and Climate Change; and a Look at Immigration Law, Policies and Procedures

Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte 

 

"Had the crisis resolution process to continually stop financial crisis and reduce debt that Pope Francis called for at the United Nations in 2015, we would not be dealing with as a severe economic crisis for all countries in the world."

"At Jubilee, we are focused on making sure that enough aid goes to the developing world. Because of the crisis, developing countries are about a trillion dollars short of getting to where they were before the crisis started."

"The most consequential decisions on climate change will not be made by the United Nations in the next month or next five years. They are actually going to be made as a part of the same financial decisions we are discussing via the IMF and the G20."

"The problems we are dealing with did not begin with the pandemic, they were challenges that were already in place. We got into this crisis because we haven't put in place the actual solutions world leaders have agreed upon over the last 20 years."

"We should move forward permanent solutions into the financial system that can continually address inequality and extreme poverty and ensure that countries have the revenue and aids they need."

"The greatest challenge that we face around development  is that because of the current crisis we are losing all of the gains we made since the early 1990s."

"The crisis is incredibly concerning and that is why the structural policies that Jubilee USA and the religious community work on are so important because these policies will help countries to go back to where they were before the pandemic and will help prevent the next crisis."

 

Click here to listen to the episode from 4:45 to 27:47.

 

Read More

Jubilee USA Statement on IMF and World Bank Meetings and Development Committee Communiqué

Washington DC - The Development Committee, a ministerial-level consensus building and policymaking body for the World Bank and the IMF, met as part of the Spring IMF and World Bank Meetings.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA, a UN expert who monitors IMF and World Bank meetings, releases the following statement on the meetings and World Bank Development Committee Communiqué:

"While we've made some significant progress in combating the coronavirus crisis, this week's meetings lacked ambition and should be defined as a lost opportunity.

"IMF and World Bank analysis shows that developing countries face deeper challenges because of the pandemic and yet, the institutions seem to be taking the crisis less seriously.

"High debts and rising deficits limit the ability of developing countries to mount an effective pandemic response. The current IMF and World Bank measures are insufficient.

“Access to vaccines, aid and debt are all connected. The World Bank found that only 2% of vaccines have reached poor countries.

“World Bank analysis unveiled this week shows that the number of poor countries in debt crises or with high debts continues to grow.

“The importance of private creditors in debt relief is a theme throughout the Spring meetings, but not a single solution to promote their involvement has been raised this week.

“All countries that defaulted last year were middle-income countries. This group of countries faces incredible challenges and are not included in current relief and aid initiatives.

"Moving forward more IDA funding to support poor countries is a very positive step.

"This week, the IMF and World Bank are taking strong steps to link addressing climate change as a part of pandemic response."

Read the World Bank Development Committee Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's statement on 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.

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

Telam Features Jubilee USA at Economic and Social Council Meeting

Telam features Jubilee USA in the latest discussion at Argentina's Economic and Social Council meeting that addressed the challenges facing Latin America as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The forum also addressed the importance of debt restructuring and Special Drawing Rights. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

El Presidente pidió renegociar tasas y plazos por la deuda con el FMI

El presidente Alberto Fernández pidió este jueves "renegociar" las tasas y los plazos de pago de la deuda que el país contrajo con el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), al encabezar esta tarde la apertura de la reunión plenaria del Consejo Económico y Social (CES) con miembros del Grupo Asesor Externo. "Lo que más buscamos no es postergar pagos, sino encontrar una solución al problema de la deuda, de modo de tener tiempo para crecer y que lo que comprometamos a futuro se pueda cumplir. De otro modo, la restructuración de la deuda será un problema que se dilate y no quiero incrementarlo sino resolverlo", completó el mandatario. Fernández señaló que la Argentina "es un país que enfrenta un problema de deuda singular, que tal vez no haya otros en el mundo" y señaló que "siempre esa deuda le ha generado un condicionante para poder avanzar y crecer".

De la reunión plenaria participaron el presidente del CES, Gustavo Beliz; el ministro de Economía, Martín Guzmán; el profesor de la Universidad de Columbia y consejero de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), Jeffrey Sachs; la secretaria General de la Secretaría General Iberoamericana (Segib), Rebeca Grynspan; el director ejecutivo del Jubilee USA Network, Eric LeCompte; y la secretaria Ejecutiva de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (Cepal), Alicia Bárcena; además de los integrantes del Consejo.

Entre otros temas, los participantes analizaron el futuro del trabajo, el sistema de obras públicas, la reforma de la arquitectura financiera global y regional, los desafíos de Latinoamérica en la era del Covid-19, la relevancia de la reestructuración de deudas, la ampliación de derechos especiales de giro (DEG) del FMI y el financiamiento del desarrollo en la Argentina.

 

Read the full article here.

 

Read More

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.
Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.
Read More