Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on African Bishop Statement

Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on African Bishop Statement. Read the full article here

African bishops call for world leaders to reject ‘unequal and unsustainable’ economic model

By John Lavenburg

NEW YORK – As world finance leaders meet this week in Washington, D.C., African bishops are calling for a “viable” plan for the continent to emerge from the current economic and health crisis with “resilience,” and for decisions that promote an economically just society.

“As we work for recovery, we are not doing so in order to return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth as millions live below the poverty line,” said an April 20 statement from the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

Emerging markets and developing economies will bear the brunt of the forecasted challenges. However, Eric LeCompte, executive director for Jubilee USA Network, told Crux that the reports are actually “really bad news for all of the countries of the world.”

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Development Group says IMF Meetings Failed on Critical Decisions

Ukraine War Derails Release of IMF and G20 Communiques

Washington DC  World leaders attending the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings failed to agree on communiques usually issues during these meetings. On Wednesday, G20 finance ministers failed to release a communiqué over Ukraine wording. On Thursday, the International Monetary and Financial Committee failed to release their communiqué and as of the writing of this article, the Development Committee did not release their customary Friday communiqué.

The war in Ukraine loomed large at the meetings, as the Fund forecast it will cut almost an entire percentage point to global economic growth this year. Talks addressed COVID response and recovery, food prices, inflation, debt crises and climate.

“Before the shocks from the Ukraine war, developing countries faced a series of crises,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Another casualty of the war is that world leaders can’t fully focus on pandemic response, inflation, climate change and rising poverty rates.”

The shock threatens a fragile pandemic recovery, with more than 100 countries not on track to vaccinate 70% of their people. Rising food and fuel price inflation will add to the 100 million people that fell into poverty since the pandemic.

“Developing countries now have little room to protect their most vulnerable from rising food prices,” added LeCompte. "The pandemic and the Ukraine war are making food, fuel and fertilizer inaccessible to many developing countries."

In the face of war impacts and rising interest rates, a growing number of countries face debt defaults. Three countries applied to the G20 debt reduction process set up in late 2020, and none of them has received relief.

“The discussion on debt remains perhaps the most difficult in the G20,” shared LeCompte. “The IMF and World Bank leadership put forward valuable and practical proposals to move forward debt relief, but no decisions were made on the proposals.”

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced that twelve countries made pledges worth $40 billion in their share of emergency currency funds or Special Drawing Rights – to help developing countries. The Resilience and Sustainability Trust, approved by the IMF last week, will administer the contributions and disbursements to developing countries.

“The IMF trust is an example of how wealthy countries can aid developing countries in pandemic prevention and dealing with the impacts of climate change,” stated LeCompte. "Unfortunately, the meetings failed to make decisions on vaccine distribution and economic aid for struggling developing countries."

At the meetings, the World Bank gained G20 backing to set up a new fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975
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Press Advisory: Jubilee USA Holds IMF/World Bank Meetings Vigil and Press Conference this Friday:

IMF and World Bank Vigil
Friday April 22nd, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Edward R Murrow Park 1872-1842 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

What: 
World leaders gather in Washington for IMF and World Bank Meetings. Jubilee USA is hosting an outdoor vigil and press conference as leaders decide on next steps to confront the Ukraine war, pandemic, the food crisis, jobs, vaccine distribution, debt relief, climate change and rising poverty.
 
Where:
Edward R Murrow Park 1872-1842 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006.


Schedule for Friday, April 22nd
  • 11:00 AM: Vigil for Funding Vaccines, Debt Relief, Jobs and Aid for Developing Countries
  • 12:00 PM: Prayer and Reflection
  • 12:15 PM: Press Conference
    • Eric LeCompte - Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network 
    • Cathy Feingold - Director of the International Department, AFL-CIO

*In person on-camera interviews available. Photo opportunities.*
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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IMF Fails to Agree on Key Meeting Communiqué

Jubilee USA Releases Statement on World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings

Washington, DC – The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF policymaking body, failed to issue it's yearly communiqué during the IMF and World Bank meetings. Instead, the chair of the IMFC issued a separate statement. The IMFC met on COVID response and recovery, the impacts of the Ukraine war on the global economy, food prices, inflation, debt crises and climate.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United nations finance expert who monitored G20 meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMFC meeting, IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings:

"Another casualty of the Ukraine war is that world leaders can't fully focus on pandemic response, inflation, climate change and rising poverty rates.

"Before the shocks from the Ukraine war, developing countries faced a series of crises. The war in Ukraine makes a terrible situation even worse.

"The IMF reports that the shock of the Ukraine war threatens a fragile COVID recovery.

"In more than 100 countries that are not on track to vaccinate 70% of their population, the pandemic is far from over.

"The meetings failed to make progress on access to vaccines, tests and treatments in the poorest countries.

"The war compounds pandemic supply chain shocks and fuels further inflation.

"Amidst ongoing health and economic impacts of COVID, developing countries now have little room to protect their most vulnerable from rising food prices.

"With growing food crises, we are worried about social unrest which could destabilize some countries.

"We expect rising interest rates and the repercussions of the Ukraine war to make more countries unable to service their debts.

"As shocks mount, the number of countries facing debt defaults keeps rising.

"We needed the G20 to urgently agree on ways to fix the shortcomings of their debt reduction process.

"The IMF and World Bank leadership put forward valuable and practical proposals for G20 Common Framework reform before these meetings, but we do not see decisions on them. 

"The IMF approved the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to provide climate and pandemic preparedness in vulnerable countries.

"Wealthy countries need to fully fund the new IMF trust.

"Energy and food security concerns could derail the urgent action needed to halt climate change."

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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African Catholic Bishops Urge IMF and World Bank to Support Systems that Build Inclusive Society

Africa Needs Debt Relief and Aid for Development Progress, Explain Religious Leaders

Washington, DC – Wealthy countries should direct more of their emergency currency funds, or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), to help African countries emerge from the crisis and resume development progress, said the body that represents Catholic Bishops from the region. In a statement “Financing Crisis Recovery with Hope for the most Vulnerable in Africa,” the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) addressed leaders attending the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings. Bishop Sithembele Siphuka, First Vice President of SECAM and Commission Chair, signed the statement.

“We call on G20 Finance Ministers and other world leaders . . . to put in place viable plans for Africa to emerge from the crisis with resilience and resume progress towards [global development and climate goals],” said the bishops.

The statement highlights that Africa is home to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor and the pandemic pushed 40 million more Africans into extreme poverty, lacking access to basic goods and services like health, education, food, water. The Ukraine war impacts on food and energy prices will add to their hardship.

“Religious leaders in Africa are calling for changes in the financial system that will benefit the most vulnerable,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of religious development group Jubilee USA Network. Jubilee USA Network partners with religious leaders on international economic and development policies. “The African bishops inspire decision makers to act in the face of rising poverty and debt in Africa.”

To support global pandemic recovery, the IMF last year created $650 billion SDRs.

“We welcome these resources which are fast, without conditions and add little or no debt, but are concerned that out of this amount, only $33 billion went to African countries,” the bishops shared.

The G20 committed to a target of $100 billion in wealthy countries’ SDR contributions to fund developing countries. The IMF Board last week approved a new fund that could use up to $45 billion SDR contributions to provide developing country low-cost loans.

The statement recommendations also addressed the debt crisis in the continent. Debt as a proportion of the economy in Africa rose from 60 to 70% in the first year of the pandemic.

“African countries did not have means to mobilize sufficient resources for responding to the pandemic, and had to make impossible choices between saving lives and jobs, or paying creditors,” the prelates stated. They called on world leaders to “coordinate efforts to bring together public and private creditors to create mechanisms to reduce the unbearable debt burdens many countries in our region continue to face.”

The faith leaders asked for measures to prevent future debt crises, promote transparency and provide sufficient aid.

Read full African Catholic Bishops' statement to World Bank/IMF Spring meetings here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report here

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here.

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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Ukraine War and Pandemic Drive High Food Prices, Inflation, Global Finance Risks

World Leaders Gather for G20, IMF and World Bank Meetings

Washington, DC – As world leaders descend for IMF, G20 and World Bank Meetings, the IMF forecasts high food prices, inflation and lower global growth due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

"The pandemic and Ukraine war are significantly hurting poor people who live in the poorest countries,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who has monitored IMF meetings since 2010. “The shock of the Ukraine war hits as most countries were still struggling with health and economic crises spurred by the pandemic.”

Inflation is a central concern in the World Economic Outlook report, with the war-driven high food and energy prices adding to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Another concern are lagging vaccination rates in poor countries that make virus mutations a continuing risk to the global outlook.

“We are failing to meet global vaccination targets and that means the coronavirus will persist all over the world." noted LeCompte. "We need better tools to deal with debt crisis and prevent future financial crises."

In its Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF discussed concerns on the war impacts on financial markets. The flagship report also underscored that energy and food security concerns put at risk efforts to halt climate change.

"The IMF is right that a solution to the multiple crises should include peace in Ukraine, aid to countries in need, addressing climate change and solving debt crises," stated LeCompte.

A full chapter of the report focuses on the risks stemming from high volumes of sovereign debt owed to banks.

“When these banks are based in a country facing a debt crisis, the crisis is more significant when you can't pay back the banks of your nation,” explained LeCompte.

Read Jubilee USA's Statement on the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here

Read the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva's curtain raiser speech here.

Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
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IMF Global Financial Stability Report Raises Concerns with Ukraine War, Domestic Debt and Fintech

Jubilee USA Network Releases Statement on Report and IMF Meetings

Washington DC – The IMF releases the 2022 Global Financial Stability Report raising concerns about Ukraine war impact, debt and risky business deals of financial technical firms.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who has monitored IMF meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMF Global Financial Stability Report and the upcoming IMF meetings:

"Among the many threats to financial stability, we are most concerned by the Ukraine war, the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic, climate challenges and serious debt crises.

"The reports lays out concerns around how much sovereign debt is owed to banks. When these banks are based in a country facing a debt crisis, the crisis is more significant when you can't pay back the banks of your nation.

"Energy self-reliance for a country is clearly connected to renewable sources of energy.

"Rising inflation and tougher financial markets hit developing countries at a time when they still struggle with health and economic COVID crises.

"The IMF foresees energy and food security concerns will put at risk efforts to halt climate change.

"Digital banks and fintech companies need clear rules and more accountability to operate in the financial system without creating more risks to economic stability."

Read the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here.

Read the Jubilee USA Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here

Read Jubilee USA's press release on IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva's curtain raiser speech here

Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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Jubilee USA Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report

Ukraine War and Pandemic Drive High Food Prices and Inflation

Washington DC – The IMF releases its flagship World Economic Outlook report. Faced with the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, the IMF forecasts lower global growth.

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

"The Ukraine war is causing high food prices and global inflation.

"Before the war in Ukraine, most countries were still struggling with health and economic crises spurred by the pandemic.

"The pandemic and Ukraine war are significantly hurting poor people who live in the poorest countries.

“Lagging vaccinations in the poorest countries means virus mutations remain a risk to the global economic outlook."

"Beyond the Ukraine war and the pandemic, we have unsustainable debts and shocks from climate change that make the current situation impossible for many developing countries.

"The IMF is right that a solution to the multiple crises should include peace in Ukraine, solving debt crises, aid to countries in need and addressing climate change."

Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here

Read Jubilee USA's press release on IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva's curtain raiser speech here

Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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IMF Head: Ukraine War, Pandemic Worse, Debt, Food Security

IMF Head Raises Global Challenges Ahead of World Leader Meetings in "Curtain Raiser" Speech

Washington, DC – The war in Ukraine will add to the pandemic crises that most countries are struggling with and lengthen the recovery in developing countries, said International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva. In her curtain-raiser speech, ahead of next week’s IMF and World Bank meetings, she shared that the IMF projects more than 140 countries face worse prospects in the coming months.

“As incomes drop and the cost of living rises, poverty increases,” stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who has monitored IMF policies for more than a decade. “With the challenges of the pandemic, poverty increases and it will be harder to lift people out of poverty.”

Georgieva called for improvements to the G20 Common Framework – a debt restructuring process the group set up a year and a half ago. Up to 73 countries are eligible to seek relief but only three requested relief so far. Ethiopia, Zambia and Chad, who applied for the framework, have not yet received any debt reduction from the G20 process. More than 60% of developing low-income countries face debt crisis.

“If the tools for debt crisis resolution are not functioning, developing countries will delay requesting help from processes," noted LeCompte who is a United Nations finance expert.

In a separate statement today Georgieva shared calculations that for every percentage point that food prices go up, 10 million more people fall in poverty.

“The challenge of food insecurity and the potential for social unrest is a frightening part of the current IMF diagnosis.” added LeCompte.

View Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's Spring IMF Meetings Curtain Raiser Speech here.

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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IMF Sets Up New Pandemic and Climate Aid Instrument

Tool Accepts Donations of Special Drawing Rights Aid

Washington DC – The IMF Board of Directors established a new fund to aid developing countries with long-term pandemic and climate challenges. The Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) offers low-cost loans to developing countries with emergency currency or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) that wealthy countries will contribute.

“The new trust provides an important way for wealthy countries to support developing countries struggling with the impacts of crises spurred by the pandemic and climate change,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert. “With the growing challenges that developing countries face and new global shocks from the war in Ukraine, we need more tools like this trust.

In August the IMF created $650 billion SDRs. Due to IMF rules, about $230 billion went to developing countries and more than $400 billion went to developed countries. The RST is a process that enables wealthy countries use their SDRs to aid developing countries. Countries can also pledge SDR funding to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, a fund that lends at a zero interest rate but supports only the poorest countries.

“The decision to allow developing middle-income countries to access the new trust recognizes the significant difficulties these countries face,” added LeCompte.

The Fund seeks to mobilize $45 billion for the RST in the coming months. The G20 continue discussions on how to channel SDRs through development banks.

“The new trust is a start, but we will need additional ways to donate Special Drawing Rights to developing countries that struggle to meet development goals and deal with health crises," stated LeCompte.

Read IMF Managing Director's full statement on the creation of the RST here.

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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Yellen: IMF Needs Overhaul to Fight New Global Crises

Washington DC  The IMF needs more tools to fight modern, potentially more frequent global crises, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued in a speech to the Atlantic Council.

“Health, climate and development challenges are creating worse economic shocks and leading to crises that are harder to solve," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “In the face of crisis, countries with more resources can act forcefully while poor countries get left behind."

Yellen’s speech comes days before she joins world leaders for G20 and World Bank/IMF meetings focused on developing countries struggling with debt, vaccine access and climate change. The Ukraine war brings a new shock to the global economy that leaders will discuss. Recently, IMF staff warned that 60% of poor countries are facing debt crisis or economic instability.

“The Ukraine war adds to the dramatic debt challenges in countries that already struggled with the pandemic,” added LeCompte. “It's clear that we need stronger and more efficient tools to solve economic crises.”

Yellen addressed international tax, trade, climate finance, health and pandemic preparedness reforms to modernize global financial institutions so they are fit to face global 21st century challenges.

Read Yellen's full speech here.

Read Eric LeCompte commentary in Barron's on Ukraine's debt and the lack of global financial crisis tools here.

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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