Bond Buyer Quotes Eric LeCompte on Child Poverty in Puerto Rico

Bond Buyer features Eric LeCompte in their article on Puerto Rico's economy. Read more here.

Puerto Rico experts, participants discuss its future

By: Robert Slavin

Jubilee USA Network Executive Director Eric LeCompte also focused on the island’s children, saying that budgets must reduce the high child poverty rate on the island.

Many said the future was unclear.

Read more here.

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Jubilee USA Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 Letter

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 
Majority Leader, U.S. Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable Chuck Schumer 
Minority Leader, U.S. Senate
322 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable James Inhofe
Chairman, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
205 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jack Reed
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
728 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

June 29, 2020

Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Chair Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed,

On behalf of 750 national religious bodies and institutions, faith communities and Jubilee USA member organizations, I urge you ensure that the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 becomes an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S Amendment 2198 to S4049).

The Senate should ensure quick passage of this and similar pieces of legislation that reveal the true owner of "anonymous" shell companies to government authorities. Some shell companies hide those who profit from human trafficking and dictators use them to steal development aid and debt relief. Without basic transparency measures, shell companies can foster Medicare and Medicaid fraud, harm our national security and contribute to a loss of nearly a trillion dollars a year to the developing world. 

My organization, Jubilee USA Network, coordinated 100 faith communities and organizations to urge Congress to pass strong transparency measures that reveal the true ownership of these anonymous companies. In the attached anti-money laundering support letter, please see a listing of these groups that include some of the largest religious institutions and groups in the United States, including: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Episcopal Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The National Council of Churches, The Presbyterian Church (USA), The United Church of Christ, The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society, Catholic religious orders and Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.

As you know, this amendment is sponsored by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Kennedy (R-LA).

While we believe the adoption of this measure is a positive step forward to protect the vulnerable and improve transparency, we look forward to continuing to work with you to further strengthen this and related transparency initiatives.

I am grateful for your public service. Please know that I and our member institutions continue to hold you in prayer as you make critical decisions for our country and on behalf of those who are most vulnerable.

Gratefully,

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
Jubilee USA Network

CC: US Senate Members
Enc: Attached Letter


June 29, 2020

Dear Senator,

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” --- Proverbs 29:2

As communities of faith, we are grateful for your public service and we pray for your efforts daily. We are grateful for the efforts you've supported of Jubilee USA Network to build a more accountable and transparent economic system.

We write to urge you to support legislative actions in line with our faith - Jubilee legislation that promotes transparency, fights corruption and protects the vulnerable.

In particular, we invite you to cosponsor the Corporate Transparency Act and the ILLICIT Cash Act, which reveal the true owners of anonymous shell corporations to law enforcement.

This legislation is essential as it:

  • stops ways that human traffickers hide and make profits
  • prevents the exploitation of vulnerable communities in the United States through Medicaid and Medicare fraud
  • curbs the theft of development and debt relief aid
  • reveals theft from corrupt foreign governments of public monies
  • can help raise revenue in the developing world

We are thankful for your support of these vital pieces of Jubilee legislation that protect and lift the vulnerable.


Signatories below as of 6/29/20

Denominations and Denominational Representations
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Episcopal Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The National Council of Churches
The Presbyterian Church (USA)
The United Church of Christ
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

Religious Institutions, Faith Organizations and Denomination Offices
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Africa Women and Youth Initiative
United Methodist Women
Daughters of Charity USA
Franciscan Action Network
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
American Friends Service Committee
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Disciples Center for Public Witness
Disciples Home Missions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Jubilee USA Network
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Pax Christi USA
Sojourners
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Congregations, Faith Communities and Religious Groups
All Saints Episcopal Church -- Salt Lake City, UT
Ascension Lutheran Church -- Thousand Oaks, CA
Athens Catholic Community Peace and Justice Committee -- Athens, OH
Bernardine Franciscan Sisters -- Reading, PA
Bethel Lutheran Church -- Los Angeles, CA
B'nai Harim -- Pocono Pines, PA
California Lutheran University
Central Pacific Conference United Church of Christ -- OR
Congregation Gates of Heaven -- Schenectady, NY
Crossroads United Church of Christ -- Indianola, IA
Dominicans of Sinsinawa -- Sinsinawa, WI
First Congregational Church of Alameda, CA
First Congregational Church of Chicago UCC
First Presbyterian Church -- Portland, OR
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart -- Philadelphia, PA
Harbor House -- Thousand Oaks, CA
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA JPIC -- Waukegan, IL
IHM Sisters - Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office -- Monroe, MI
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Los Altos, California -- Los Altos, CA
Interfaith Worker Justice, New Mexico
InterReligious Task Force On Central America and Colombia -- Cleveland, OH
Iowa City Pax Christi -- IA
Jubilee Albany Capitol Region, NY
Jubilee Massachusetts
Jubilee Northwest -- Seattle, WA
Jubilee San Diego
Jubilee Southern California
Jubilee Ventura County -- CA
Jubilee Vermont
Lutheran Office of Public Policy -- California
Mary House Inc -- New Providence, NJ
Messiah Lutheran Church -- Schenectady, NY
Middlebury Friends Meeting -- Middlebury, VT
Mission Committee of the First Trinitarian Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) -- Concord, MA
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Mount Tabor Lutheran Church -- Salt Lake City, UT
Muslims for Economic Justice
Nicaragua Center for Community Action -- Berkley, CA
Pax Christi Dallas -- TX
Pax Christi Florida
Pax Christi Hazel Crest -- IL
Pax Christi Hilton Head -- SC
Pax Christi Illinois
Pax Christi Metro New York
Pax Christi San Antonio -- TX
Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement -- Garrison, NY
Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches -- New York, NY
St. John's Episcopal Church -- Chicago, IL
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church -- Philadelphia, PA
Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of IHM -- Scranton, PA
St. Pius X Catholic Church -- Portland, OR
La Vista Ecological Learning Center -- Godfrey, IL
Pax Christi Pacific Northwest -- Seattle, WA
Pax Christi Seed Planters -- Crete, IL
Pax Christi St. Maurice/Broward Florida
Pax Christi Western NY
Peace Lutheran Church -- Danville, CA
Pilgrim United Church Of Christ -- Carlsbad, CA
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator -- Las Vegas, NV
Roswell Presbyterian Church -- Roswell, GA
Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral -- Seattle, WA
San Dieguito United Methodist Church -- Encinitas, CA
Sinsinawa Dominican Peace and Justice Office -- WI
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth JPIC Office, KS
Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia -- Aston, PA
Society of the Holy Child Jesus -- Philadelphia, PA
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Institute Justice Team -- Silver Spring, MD
Glenmary Home Missioners -- Cincinnati, OH
Sisters of Providence Office of Peace, Justice, and Sustainability -- St Mary-of-the-Woods, IN
South Coast Interfaith Council -- Long Beach, CA
South East Area Mission and Justice Committee of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ -- Framingham, MA
St. Alban's Episcopal Church -- Albany, CA
St. Mary's Episcopal Church -- New York, NY
Temple Beth El of South Orange County -- Aliso Viejo, CA
The River Church South -- Quincy, MA
University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)/United Church of Christ -- San Diego, CA
Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland -- Cleveland, OH

 

You can download a PDF version of the letter here

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Bond Buyer Features Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico and PROMESA

Bond Buyer quoted Eric LeCompte on his thoughts on PROMESA and Puerto Rico. Read more here.

PROMESA after four years: Key questions remain

By: Robert Slavin 

For others the measure of failure is quite simple.

Attorney John Mudd said after four years there should have been an approved plan of adjustment for the central government debt. Jubilee Executive Director Eric LeCompte said all of the debt restructuring should have been completed by now. Mudd is an attorney for unsecured creditor Servicios Integrales en la Montaña in the bankruptcy as well as a long-time commentator on the board and the bankruptcy.

Advantage Business Consulting President Vicente Feliciano said PROMESA prevented debt restructuring from going into a tailspin.

Read more here.

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The Business Times, Taipei Times and Reuters cite Eric LeCompte on G20/World Bank Debt Plans

The Business Times, Taipei Times and Reuters quote Eric LeCompte on the upcoming G20 and World Bank debt plans. Read more here

UPDATE 2-World Bank chief calls for more private sector buy-in on G20 debt relief

By: Andrea Shalal

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said having the data in one place would make it easier to deal with an impending wave of debt restructurings.

“It’s no longer a question of if, now it’s just a matter of when,” he said.

The G20’s International Financial Architecture Working Group is due to meet virtually on Tuesday to discuss the initiative and private sector participation, LeCompte said. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sandra Maler, Kim Coghill and Sonya Hepinstall)

Read more here.

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SDR Global Webinar

 English-Spanish translation (by Zoom streaming)

Spanish version

Curing the Coronavirus Health & Economic Crisis in Developing Countries & Emerging Resilient as a Global Community;

Injecting Special Drawing Rights & Zero Debt Solutions

Global Webinar

June 25th 

19:30 New Delhi • 16:00 Harare • 15:00 London • 10:00AM Washington DC  

11:00AM Buenos Aires • 9:00AM Quito • 16:00 Brussels • 14:00 Accra • 23:00 Tokyo

 

Developing countries faced debt and financial crisis prior to COVID-19. Inequality exacerbates the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus in developed and developing countries. Too many countries, due to austerity policies, wrestled with weakened health systems and soaring unemployment before the coronavirus hit. Over 110 countries seek emergency support. The suspension of debt payments for a few countries is not enough to get through the crises, let alone being able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and address inequality. Development aid, boosting tax revenues, curbing tax evasion and corruption are necessary, but cannot deliver enough resources or the urgent resources needed.

 

The United Nations Secretary General and UN agencies, African Finance Ministers, the International Monetary Fund, many countries and civil society organizations, call for a new and large issuance of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to offer efficient, unconditional and rapid means of providing liquidity to all developing countries.

 

Accessing these critical global reserve funds requires the IMF Executive Directors and the G20 to make an urgent decision that impacts every person in the world.

 

Panelists

The Honorable Minister for Finance of Ghana, Ken Ofori-Atta (TBC)

Andres Arauz, former Director of the Central Bank of Ecuador

Patricia Miranda, Global Advocacy Director, Latindadd

Jean Saldanha, Executive Director, Eurodad

Matthew Martin, Advisor of OIF Finance Ministers and Director of Development Finance International

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network (Moderator)

 

During this webinar, we will address:

  • What are SDRs, how are they issued, and how do they work?
  • Why were they issued in previous global financial crises, like 2008?
  • How do SDRs benefit low and middle income countries to fight the current health, economic and social crisis?
  • What is the amount of financial reserves that is needed?
  • What is the process of distributing SDRs from developed to developing countries?
  • What, if any, power do these actions give the IMF over countries?

 

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/8315924362490/WN_Coyl6vuPREeAIFHNzYKdoA

For more information, contact coord@jubileeusa.org.

 

   

 

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Catholic Profiles Interviews Eric LeCompte on Addressing Poverty

Catholic Profiles interviewed Eric LeCompte on the mission of Jubilee USA Network. Read more here

An Interview with Eric LeCompte

By: Gordon Nary

Gordon: When were you appointed as Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, and what have been some of the most rewarding experiences that you have had to date?

Eric: I took over the reigns of Jubilee USA in April 2010. Working at Jubilee USA is a fulfillment of my Catholic vocation. The most rewarding experience of my career is working with, supporting and advising Catholic and other Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders. Working with the Bishops and Catholic religious orders of the United States, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Africa, and Latin America as well as major interfaith leaders in all of these regions can only be described as a gift.

Together this interfaith work has had unprecedented results. We’ve moved forward major policies to address the structural causes of poverty - debt, tax, and trade issues. In Africa, our efforts brought aid and debt relief monies to confront the Ebola epidemic that hit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. We created a new process at the International Monetary Fund that strengthened healthcare and built new hospitals across the region.

Read more here.

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Eric's UN COVID Address, Global News Coverage

Friends,

Jubilee USA's Eric LeCompte addressed a special session of the United Nations on coronavirus recovery on Tuesday. Eric articulated the global policies that need to move forward to lift the vulnerable, ensure the developing world can access healthcare and for all of us to be protected from financial crisis that rivals the Great Depression.

In his UN speech, Eric raises the need for emergency United Nations Security Council action, tackling inequality and corruption and changing laws to protect Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Ghana and all countries from debt crisis.

The speech promoted news ideas that are gaining momentum to confront the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. The address received in-depth and featured coverage the you read in Associated PressFox News and the Washington Post.

Our Jubilee USA UN remarks highlight that we can emerge from this crisis with hope, more resilience and more inclusive global society.

Please read and share our Jubilee United Nations coronavirus address.

Thanks to your support and partnership, our coronavirus campaigns are moving forward with the United Nations, G7, G20 and White House. 

Thousands of you signed our petitions. More than 130 groups from the largest Christian and Jewish groups to the AFL-CIO signed our statement on debt, transparency and crisis response policies to world leaders. Recently, Eric spoke to National Public Radio's Marketplace about how the crisis could drive 60 million more people into extreme poverty and that we must take action.

In the coming days and weeks, we'll depend on you to act with us as we move the G20 in July.

Gratefully,

Zach Conti
Director of Policy and Advocacy
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Fox News, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press Feature Eric LeCompte United Nation COVID Speech

Fox News, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press feature Eric LeCompte on his United Nations COVID-19 Speech. Read more here.

UN urges help for countries near 'debt distress' from virus

By: Edith M. Lederer

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 U.S. organizations and 700 faith communities working for debt relief, was sharply critical of the resistance of private creditors, commercial lenders and banks to participate in debt relief calls — despite calls by the G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United States.

“Because of the enormity of this crisis and the long-term challenges the markets could face, the fact that some private and commercial creditor blocks are not participating ... baffles the mind,” he told the virtual meeting.

LeCompte said the U.N. Security Council must act “given that this crisis could devastate all of us, poor countries and the markets.”

Read more here

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G7 Finance Ministers Discuss Coronavirus Debt and Transparency Impacts for Developing Countries

Washington, DC - Amidst questions of upcoming G7 meeting dates and which countries are participating, G7 Finance Ministers met virtually about economic issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The G7 meeting focused on aid, debt and transparency issues affecting developing countries impacted by the coronavirus.

"The G7 clearly sees the need for greater debt transparency policies and that poor countries will likely need more debt relief to address the impacts of the coronavirus," stated Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte. LeCompte addressed these issues at a special session of the United Nations on Tuesday, "Unfortunately, the G7 seems blind to the role of private and commercial creditors who hold large portions of poor country debt."

Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank leader David Malpass and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attended the meeting.

"Private creditors cannot be asked for voluntary participation. The crisis is so great that we must compel private and commercial creditor participation in debt transparency and relief measures," shared LeCompte who on Tuesday urged the United Nations Security Council to compel private creditor participation, "If private creditors are not told to come to the negotiation table, we run the risk that debt cancellation and relief could be used to pay private creditors."

Read Eric LeCompte's Remarks to the United Nations here.

Read the G7 Finance Meeting Statement here.

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Eric LeCompte Addresses United Nations on COVID-19 Crisis Recovery

 

United Nations Economic and Social Council Informal Meeting on “Financing a sustainable recovery from COVID-19”

United Nations Virtual Special Session

 

Recovering from the Coronavirus Pandemic with Resilience: Confronting Inequality, Ending Poverty and Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network

June 2nd, 2020

(Remarks as prepared for delivery)

 

The coronavirus wreaks havoc around the globe and induces a global economic crisis on par with the Great Depression. Our calls for debt cancellation, relief and increased aid are needed to meet the $2.5 trillion initial IMF estimate to address the crisis in developing countries. The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates that $5 to $7 trillion dollars was needed already to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Due to the crisis, according to UN agencies, 265 million people face famine and 40 to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty. The International Labor Organization says 300 million jobs will be lost.

Job loss, unemployment and poverty are recipes for social unrest, conflict, terrorism, inequality and financial crisis. Dealing with this current crisis requires additional spending to protect health, workers and save lives.

African Finance Ministers representing many Middle-Income Countries, call for $44 billion in debt relief just for African countries as a short-term measure to this crisis. Current measures enacted by the IMF and G20 for all of the 73 poorest countries that qualify, may amount to $22 billion. Most of these poorest countries had less than 50 critical care units for millions of people. Some have zero. These debt relief measures do not include "Middle-Income" developing countries, home to 62 % of the world’s poor. It does not bind private lenders and more than half of countries that qualify are refusing the terms or afraid of the market consequences for accepting relief.

Debt relief measures which include debt cancellation, debt payment moratoriums or standstills and debt restructuring are critical, but alone will not be enough to deal with this profound crisis.

The effects of the crisis will be more long lasting in developing countries than in advanced economies. Measures must be put in place to evaluate debt sustainability and cancel debt payments into 2021 and possibly 2022 and beyond - if not even fuller elimination of debt stocks. Debt relief must be broadened to more countries that need it. Longer-term, we must implement the debt policies from the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2014 and 2015 UN General Assembly efforts on improving debt restructuring and embracing a global bankruptcy process. In order to emerge from this crisis with resilience, ensure economic and debt sustainability and be able to access future revenue streams, we must move forward agreements now that curb tax evasion and avoidance and corruption.

To meet this current crisis we must count our response not in the billions, but the trillions.

It's why we must access global financial reserves, or the Special Drawing Rights and allocate the use of these reserves to developing countries. We did this after the 2008 financial crisis and now we need to do it again. Estimates of need, range from $1 to $4 trillion.

Caribbean Islands to African nations, need to access these revenue streams, aid and relief - so they can pass their own "stimulus" or bridge financing plans to survive the crisis and ensure funds are available to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

One of the strongest calls from the Financing for Development Addis Ababa Action Agenda was to implement rules on responsible lending and borrowing. While we've seen progress with the G20's Operational Guidelines for Sustainable Financing, we still lack binding rules. These common sense laws of debtor and creditor responsibility and public budget transparency should be enshrined as part of our international financial architecture.

However the most important and most critical points that I will make today - is responding to the resistance of private creditors, commercial lenders and banks to participate in the G20, IMF and World Bank debt relief calls.

Long-term, we need changes in the major financial jurisdictions like the United Kingdom and New York State. For countries around the world and for US Territories like Puerto Rico, legal changes are needed in these financial jurisdictions to make debt restructuring more transparent and predictable - and too implement another strong commitment from the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, outlawing predatory "vulture" funds.

Because of the enormity of this crisis and the long-term challenges the markets could face, the fact that some private and commercial creditor blocks are not participating at the urging of the United States, the G20, the IMF and World Bank baffles the mind.

Given that this crisis could devastate all of us, poor countries and the markets, the United Nations Security Council has little choice but to act. The UN Security Council should follow its precedent in 2003 when it protected the assets of Iraq from creditor payments and now immediately make the same decision for the 73 countries that need this protection most to compel private and commercial creditors to join the G20 debt relief call. This decision would protect the assets of these countries and mandate that debt relief from official bilateral creditors is not used to pay private creditor debt.

Additionally, officials must strengthen public announcements that do more than "call" or "invite" private creditors, they must make public announcements that say they "expect" their participation in order to help compel it. We welcome stronger announcements from the World Bank's David Malpass last week. The IMF and G20 should revise their statements from April and instead of "calling" private creditors, "expect" their participation and condition public participation on the participation of private and commercial creditors. United Nations agencies should also make public announcements that "expect" private creditor participation.

These public announcement and the words we use do have legal implications.

Finally, this is not the time for creditors to use accounting gimmicks to leave countries with higher debt burdens and higher debt payment service after they received some relief.

The decisions we make now can ensure that we not only survive the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus, they can also ensure that we emerge from this crisis with more resilience. The decisions we make now, can ensure that we emerge from this crisis with the tools to stop the next crisis.

Thank-you.

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NPR's Marketplace Features Jubilee USA on COVID and Developing Country Debt

Marketplace podcast, NPR's flagship program on contextualizing the economic news of the day, featured Jubilee USA's Eric LeCompte as it discussed how emerging markets are faring in this crisis. Listen to the full podcast here.

This Crisis is hard on us. It's even harder on countries that aren't rich. 

By: Sabri Ben-Achour 

"The United Nations right now predicts that 40 to 60 million people will move into extreme poverty because of this crisis," said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte. His warning comes as the IMF seeks to provide small, short-term debt relief when the current situation demands more significant action.   

The episode also included analysis on the rapidly developing unemployment rate, the different ways the government measures joblessness, and evictions in Texas. You can listen to the full podcast here

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The Tablet Covers our Coronavirus G20, IMF and White House Letter

The Tablet covered Jubilee's faith community letter to the White House, G20 and IMF calling for expanded debt relief in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Debt relief needed to help poor nations in pandemic

Advocates for debt relief for the world's poorest countries are calling on international policymakers to cancel debt payments and expand debt relief for developing nations to bolster health care and protect vulnerable people and workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The request from more than 100 organisations, including more than two dozen Catholic religious congregations, came in a letter to the International Monetary Fund, representatives of 20 industrial and emerging economies, or G-20 nations, and President Donald Trump.

It comes in advance of today's opening of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation. The global pandemic response will be the major item of business during the meeting, which was rescheduled to take place online.

Decisions by the assembly are likely to affect the upcoming G-20 and Group of Seven meetings this summer.

Eric LeCompte, executive director Jubilee USA, an alliance of faith-based development and advocacy groups that drafted the letter, said that action on canceling the debt would allow poor countries to devote more resources to respond to the pandemic.

The G-20 nations agreed to suspend debt payments owed to them by 76 of the world's poorest countries. The agreement covers payments through 2020.

Debt cancellation and the suspension of payments was one of four policies the advocates said were necessary to prevent a serious financial crisis from engulfing the world economy, LeCompte said.

Other issues raised in the letter include:

– Identifying additional revenues that nations can tap to respond to the economic and health impacts of the pandemic.
– Improving debt restructuring and implementing debt payment moratoria for countries affected by the coronavirus.
– Supporting all countries as they emerge from the crisis "with more resilience by encouraging policies and agreements to increase protections for the vulnerable, instil greater public budget transparency, implement financial crisis and market protections, promote responsible lending and borrowing, and curb corruption and tax evasion."

LeCompte said such steps would move a global economic recovery along and "protect all of us from financial crisis".

He added that he believed the actions would head off future financial crises that may be caused by another pandemic, economic upheaval or massive food shortage.

"If we don't have a process in place, we're just setting ourselves up for failure again," he said.

Pope Francis in his traditional Easter message "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) called for forgiveness, or at least a reduction, of the foreign debt of the world's poorest nations.

The pope also has established a Covid-19 response commission in the Dicastery for Integral Human Development to examine the challenges the world is facing in battling the pandemic and what it will inevitably face in its aftermath.

Among its tasks, the commission is reviewing debt of the world's poorest countries, joining the plea of Pope Francis and a wide variety of leaders in calling for debt relief,  either through the suspension of payments or an outright forgiveness of debt.

 

Read more here

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