Declaración de Líderes Religiosos de Puerto Rico y EE. UU. Sobre el Acuerdo de Deuda y el Camino a Seguir

14 Marzo, 2022

Lea la declaración en PDF en españolinglés.

"El Espíritu del Señor sobre mí, porque me ha ungido para anunciar a los pobres la Buena Nueva, me ha enviado a proclamar la liberación a los cautivos y la vista a los ciegos, para dar la libertad a los oprimidos y proclamar un año de gracia del Señor."   --- Lucas, 4:18-19

Desde 2015, como líderes religiosos, reclamamos un Jubileo para la isla que es nuestro sagrado hogar, Nuestra Patria, Puerto Rico. Hemos levantado nuestra voz para advertir que nuestra niñez y nuestra patria estaban y siguen estando en crisis — Puerto Rico tenía deudas que no podían ni debían ser pagadas mientras casi 60% de nuestra niñez viven en la pobreza. Seguimos insistiendo en un Jubileo — La ordenanza de nuestro Dios amoroso que vivamos en una relación fraternal con el prójimo y que todos, especialmente nuestros niños, vivan en un mundo de suficiencia y dignidad.

Con nuestros socios de Jubilee USA Network —continuamos trabajando las crisis que enfrenta nuestro pueblo: la colonia, la deuda y la económica. Desde 2015, nos reunimos con los distintos sectores para buscar una solución permanente a nuestras crisis, de tal  forma, que reduzca la deuda, proteja a los y las vulnerables y que ubique a la isla en el camino de la prosperidad. En nuestro trabajo con Casa Blanca, líderes republicanos y demócratas en el Congreso, el gobierno de nuestra isla y con la colaboración de distintos sectores sociales, en la isla y en los Estados Unidos, se alcanzó una legislación para atender la emergencia de la crisis de deuda. La promesa fue legislar la reducción de nuestra deuda a niveles sostenibles y proteger a nuestro pueblo.  En este momento reconocemos, que aunque algunos aspectos de esta promesa se cumplieron, otros todavía no se han logrado para beneficio de nuestro pueblo. Reconocemos la reducción alcanzada de la deuda y de algunas protecciones que se consiguieron para nuestra niñez y jubilados.

La promesa de Jubileo para nuestro proceso de bancarrota y la condonación de la deuda comenzó; luego en 2017, los huracanes Irma y María devastaron Puerto Rico. Luego sobrevinieron los terremotos, la crisis de salud y el impacto económico del coronavirus añadieron nuevos desafíos a la resolución y recuperación de la deuda. 

Como personas de fe, creemos que el compromiso y el diálogo son principios fundamentales de nuestras tradiciones. Apreciamos los esfuerzos de nuestro gobierno, los acreedores y la Junta de Supervisión Fiscal para encontrar un terreno común para trabajar la crisis financiera. Aunque esperábamos ver recortes mayores, destacamos la importancia de la reducción alcanzada de la deuda. Puerto Rico tiene ahora la oportunidad para salir adelante y de forjar una estrategia comprensiva para la recuperación y el desarrollo económico.

Como líderes religiosos, hacemos todo lo posible por ser pastores de nuestros rebaños, consolar a nuestra gente y buscar la justicia para ellos. Amando y caminado con nuestra gente, hemos aprendido que nuestros feligreses realmente nos guían y nos enseñan. De la necesidad, en los pasados siete (7) años hemos aprendido como la deuda, los impuestos y las problemas económicos recrudecen la pobreza y la desigualdad en nuestro pueblo. Con nuestros socios en el Caribe, África, Latinoamérica, Asia y a través de los países en desarrollo, aprendimos una lección magistral: la historia de la deuda es un proceso que frecuentemente requiere de varios intentos de reestructuración antes de llegar a un acuerdo final y duradero. Aunque reconocemos los avances en los acuerdos sobre quiebra de Puerto Rico, sabemos que nuestro trabajo no ha terminado, sino que debe continuar.

Las siguiente medidas son esenciales para prevenir que Puerto Rico vuelva a renegociar la deuda una y otra vez, y para garantizar que atendamos las dificultades que genera el cambio climático y superemos la epidemia de pobreza infantil:

  • En primer lugar, nuestro gobierno, el Congreso, la Casa Blanca, los acreedores y todas las partes interesadas deben dar prioridad a la financiación y a las medidas que nos ayuden a superar la pobreza infantil en Puerto Rico y proteger nuestra isla de los impactos del cambio climático.
  • Priorizar el desarrollo económico ampliando las oportunidades de trabajo en el sector manufacturero y el desarrollo de infraestructuras sostenibles y de calidad.
  • Adelantar por lo menos $50 billones de ayuda adicional para la recuperación de los desastres naturales y acelerar el desembolso de los $55 billones que el Congreso estadounidense ya ha asignado.
  • Como asunto de justicia, Puerto Rico y los demás territorios de EE.UU. deberían otorgarles, de forma permanente, la paridad con los estados de EE.UU. en materia de nutrición, reducción de la pobreza infantil, Medicaid, Medicare y programas de alivios contributivos.
  • Insistimos en la importancia contundente de realizar una auditoría de la deuda como mecanismo para acabar con la corrupción y la impunidad. La transparencia y la rendición de cuentas deben ser eje central de cualquier democracia real.
  • Hay que aprobar los beneficios del Seguro Social Suplementario (SSI) para auxiliar a 300,000 ciudadanos empobrecidos y vulnerables de la isla.
  • Dada la preocupación que tenemos por la sostenibilidad de la reestructuración de la deuda, la necesidad de prevenir futuras crisis y reestructuraciones económicas y alcanzar cuatro (4) años de presupuestos balanceados para prescindir de la supervisión de la junta instaurada por el gobierno federal - pedimos un alto grado de rendición de cuentas y una amplia participación en el desarrollo, la ejecución y el cumplimiento del presupuesto, incluyendo la creación de un comité independiente de ciudadanos/as autorizados/as para solicitar, revisar e informar públicamente sobre los asuntos presupuestarios.

Mientras se aplaude el fin de la quiebra, seguiremos insistiendo en un verdadero Jubileo: un mundo en el que todos poseamos lo suficiente, podamos vivir con dignidad y honremos la grandeza de nuestro creador.

 

Firmantes

Roberto O. González Nieves, OFM
Arzobispo Metropolitano de la Arquidiócesis de San Juan Puerto Rico

Rubén González Medina, CMF
Obispo de la Diócesis de Ponce Puerto Rico

Reverendo Héctor F. Ortiz Vidal
Obispo de la Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico

Reverenda Idalia Negrón Caamaño
Obispa del Sínodo del Caribe de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América

Reverenda Zodet Zambrana
Moderadora del Sínodo Boriquén, Iglesia Presbiteriana (USA) en Puerto Rico

Reverenda Hilda Robles Florán
Pastora General de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Edgardo Caraballo Marín
Ministro Ejecutivo de las Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Edward Rivera Santiago
Pastor General de la Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Héctor Soto Vélez
Director Ejecutivo del Concilio de Iglesias de Puerto Rico

Reverenda Eunice Santana Melecio
Directora del Instituto Ecuménico de Acción y Formación del Caribe

Reverendo Felipe Lozada Montañez
Obispo Emérito de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Esteban González Dobles
Pasado Pastor General de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Rafael Moreno Rivas
Obispo Emérito de la Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Heriberto Martínez Rivera
Secretario General de la Sociedad Bíblica de Puerto Rico

Reverendo Enrique Camacho
Director Ejecutivo de Cáritas (Caridades Católicas) de Puerto Rico

 

Adherentes

Reverendo Paul S. Coakley
Arzobispo de la Arquidiócesis de la Ciudad de Oklahoma
Presidente del Comité de Justicia Doméstica y Desarrollo Humano
Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos

Reverenda Elizabeth A. Eaton
Obispa Presidente de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América

Reverendo Dr. John C. Dorhauer
Ministro General y Presidente de la Iglesia Unida de Cristo en Estados Unidos

Reverenda Teresa Hord Owens
Ministra General y Presidente de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en Estados Unidos

Reverendo Marco A. Cable
Presidente, División de Ministerios en el Exterior y Co-Ejecutiva, Ministerios Globales de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) y la Iglesia Unida de Cristo en Estados Unidos

Reverenda Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson
Ministra General Asociada para Ministerios y Operaciones Globales de la Iglesia Unida de Cristo en Estados Unidos; Co-Ejecutiva, Ministerios Globales de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) y la Iglesia Unida de Cristo en Estados Unidos

Reverendo Dr. J. Herbert Nelson
Secretario Permanente de la Asamblea General, Iglesia Presbiteriana (USA) en Puerto Rico)

Obispa Teresa Jefferson-Snorton
Presidente de la Junta de Gobierno del Concilio Nacional de Iglesias de Estados Unidos

Reverenda Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
Secretaria General, Junta General de la Iglesia y Sociedad de la Iglesia Metodista Unida en Estados Unidos

Donna J. Markham OP, PhD, ABPP
Presidente & CEO de Caridades Católicas de Estados Unidos

Eric LeCompte
Director Ejecutivo, Jubilee USA Network


Lea la declaración en PDF en españolinglés.

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Puerto Rico and US Religious Leaders Statement on Debt Settlement and the Way Forward

Read the statement as a PDF in English and Spanish.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” --- Luke 4:18-19

Since 2015, as religious leaders, we called for a Jubilee for our sacred island home, Nuestra Patria, Puerto Rico. We sought to raise the alarm that our children and our homeland were and continue to be in crisis - Puerto Rico held debts that could not and should not be paid as nearly 60% of our children struggle in poverty. We still call for a Jubilee - our loving God's demand that we live in a fraternal relationship with one another and that all of us, especially our children, should live in a world of enough and dignity.

With our partners from Jubilee USA Network - we continue to confront the colonial, debt and economic crises that face our people. Since 2015, we met with all parties to seek a permanent solution to our crises that cuts the debt, protects the vulnerable and sets the island on a path of prosperity. Working with the White House, our island's government and Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress, with the efforts of many social sectors, on the island and in the United States, we collaborated with others to achieve legislation to address the emergency debt crisis. The legislation was a promise to cut our debt to sustainable levels and protect our people. Today we acknowledge that while some aspects of this promise were fulfilled, other aspects of the promise never came to benefit our people. We acknowledge the debts that were cut and some of the protections that were won for our children and retirees.

Our bankruptcy process with a promise for a Jubilee, a forgiveness of debt, began and then in 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico. Then came the earthquakes and the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus added new challenges to debt resolution and recovery.

As people of faith, we believe engagement and dialogue are central tenets of our traditions. We appreciate the efforts on the part of our government, the creditors and the Financial Oversight and Management Board to find common ground. While we wished to see deeper debt cuts, we greatly appreciate the importance of the debt reduction achieved. Puerto Rico has now the opportunity for a path forward, and to forge a comprehensive strategy for recovery and economic development.

As religious leaders we do our best to be pastors of our flocks, to comfort our people and to seek justice for them. Having loved and walked with our people, we have learned that our flocks truly guide and teach us. Out of necessity these past 7 years we had to learn how debt, tax and economic issues exacerbate poverty and inequality for our people. With our partners in the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, Asia and throughout the developing world, we learned a sobering lesson: the history of debt is that it often takes several restructuring attempts before reaching a lasting settlement. While we acknowledge the progress in Puerto Rico's bankruptcy accords, we know our work has not ended, but must continue.

The following measures are essential for preventing Puerto Rico from having to renegotiate the debt again and again, and to ensure that we deal with the impacts of climate change and end our staggering child poverty epidemic:

  • First and foremost, our government, Congress, the White House, creditors and all stakeholders must prioritize funding and measures that end child poverty in Puerto Rico and protect our island from the impacts of climate change.
  • Prioritize economic development by expanding manufacturing jobs and building quality, sustainable infrastructure.
  • Move forward at least $50 billion of additional disaster recovery aid and accelerate disbursement of the $55 billion that the US Congress already allocated.
  • As a matter of fundamental justice Puerto Rico and the other US territories should be moved to a permanent basis of parity with the US States on nutrition, child poverty reduction, Medicaid, Medicare and tax relief programs.
  • We insist on the utmost importance of conducting a debt audit as a mechanism to stop corruption and impunity. Transparency and accountability must be a central axis of any real democracy.
  • Supplemental Security Income payments that benefit 300,000 poor and vulnerable citizens on the island must be unblocked.
  • Given the concerns we have about the sustainability of the debt restructuring, the need to prevent future restructurings and economic crises, and have 4 years of balanced budgets to remove the oversight of the federally installed board - we call for a high degree of accountability and broad participation in budget development, execution and monitoring, including by the creation of an independent citizen accountability committee empowered to request, review and publicly report on budgetary information.

As the end of bankruptcy is lauded, we continue to call for a true Jubilee - a world where we all have enough, can live in dignity and honor the greatness of our creator.

 

Signatures

Roberto O. González Nieves, OFM
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico

Rubén González Medina CMF
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ponce

Reverend Héctor F. Ortiz Vidal
Bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico

Reverend Idalia Negrón Caamaño
Bishop of the Caribbean Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Reverend Zodet Zambrana
Moderator Boriquén Synod, Presbyterian Church (USA) in Puerto Rico

Reverend Hilda Robles Florán
General Pastor of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico

Reverend Edgardo Caraballo Marin
Executive Minister of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico

Reverend Edward Rivera Santiago
General Pastor of the United Evangelical Church of Puerto Rico

Reverend Héctor Soto Vélez
Executive Director of the Council of Churches of Puerto Rico

Reverend Eunice Santana Melecio
Director of the Caribbean Institute of Ecumenical Action and Formation

Reverend Felipe Lozada Montañez
Emeritus Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran in Puerto Rico

Reverend Esteban González Dobles
Former General Pastor of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico

Reverend Rafael Moreno Rivas
Emeritus Bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico

Reverend Heriberto Martínez Rivera
General Secretary of the Puerto Rico Bible Society

Reverend Enrique Camacho
Executive Director of Cáritas (Catholic Charities) of Puerto Rico


Endorsements

Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City
Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Reverend Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Reverend Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

Reverend Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Reverend Marco A. Cable
President, Division of Overseas Ministries and Co-Executive Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ

Reverend Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson
Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations, Co-executive, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ

Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton
Governing Board Chair of the National Council of Churches

Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
General Secretary, The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

Donna J. Markham OP, PhD, ABPP
President & CEO, Catholic Charities USA

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network

Read the statement as a PDF in English and Spanish.

Read More

The Tablet Quotes Eric LeCompte on Restructuring Ukraine's Debt

Eric LeCompte is quoted in The Tablet on restructuring Ukraine's debt. Read the full article here.

US Catholics express solidarity with Ukraine

By Michael Sean Winters

Eric LeCompte, executive director of JubileeUSA, a Catholic non-profit organisation that seeks to reduce the sovereign debt of developing nations, called on international financial institutions to restructure Ukraine’s estimated $94.7 billion debt. “In terms of reality, Ukraine is going to start defaulting on its various debt payments as soon as this year,” LeCompte said.

LeCompte said that Ukraine has remained current with its debt payments until now, but that the chaos created by the war will make it difficult for the country to meet its obligations. LeCompte indicated that $22 billion of Ukraine’s debt is held by international institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

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Eric LeCompte Comments on Ukraine's Debilitating Debt in Barron's

Eric LeCompte writes for Barron's on Ukraine's debilitating debts. Read the full article here

Ukraine’s Debts Will Be Debilitating, Unless the World Helps

By Eric LeCompte

The images of families fleeing and the decimation of Ukraine are heartbreaking. 

Not since World War II have we seen a humanitarian crisis in Europe on this scale. Unlike World War II, we are witnessing the human suffering in real time as it unfolds on screens and social media. While the United Nations reports around 750 civilians have been killed and injured, including children, they assert the numbers are likely much, much higher. 

Unfortunately, while there are critical things that must be done, our failure to implement full financial crisis solutions limits the scope of the financial crisis response for Ukraine.

Ukraine currently holds $94.7 billion in debt. Ukraine will fail to pay external debts while the humanitarian crisis rages on.
The G7 can lead the suspension of Ukraine debt payments. Governments around the world can offer debt relief and implement efforts to protect Ukraine from paying private creditor debt. While the Biden administration has been heroic in leading financial sanctions on Russia, a Biden executive order would help stop a major portion of the $28 billion of the overall private creditor debt payments that is registered under U.S. law. This action would follow precedent when George W. Bush halted private creditor and oil obligations for Iraq’s recovery.
Read More

KFGO News Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's Debt

KFGO News quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's debt. Read the full article here

Ukraine tapped lion’s share of IMF reserve allocation, debt pressures building

By Andrea Shalal

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IMF could take several steps to ease Ukraine’s debt burden and avert a payments crisis, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Reuters.

Treasury could seek congressional authorization to freeze the $2 million in service payments Ukraine owes the United States this year on its $790 million bilateral debt, he said.

Doing so, he said, would send a “strong signal of support for Ukraine beyond the really good things that the administration has already been doing”.

It would also ensure that private creditors don’t “use this moment to try and exploit Ukraine”, he said.

LeCompte said the fund could freeze debt service payments as it has for low-income countries during the pandemic, or extend the loan so payments wouldn’t be due for several years. Although Russia is a shareholder of the IMF, the United States and Europe hold more power and could push through such a decision, he said.

Read More

Detroit Catholic Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's Debt

Detroit Catholic quotes Eric LeCompte on the need for debt relief in Ukraine. Read the full article here

Relief sought on Ukraine's debt to prevent global financial disruption

By Dennis Sadowski

Jubilee USA is calling on international financial institutions and the United States to signal additional support for Ukraine by restructuring the debt the war-ravaged nation owes before payments come due later this year.

Restructuring a large chunk of Ukraine's estimated $94.7 billion debt is necessary so the beleaguered country can avoid defaulting on loans, an outcome that would reverberate through the international economy, explained Eric LeCompte, executive director of the alliance of faith-based development and debt-relief advocacy organizations.

While welcoming the financial sanctions rapidly imposed by the U.S. and much of the world on Russia, LeCompte urged the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United States to act soon on the debt question.

"In terms of reality, Ukraine is gong to start defaulting on its various debt payments as soon as this year," LeCompte told Catholic News Service.

LeCopmpte identified critical needs such as streamlined procedures to restructure debt, address bankruptcy and distribute economic aid to developing countries that would prevent a severe financial crunch like the one facing Ukraine.

For years, Jubilee USA has partnered with the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and its predecessors as well as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to urge global financial institutions to set in place procedures to quickly respond to crises, but has not seen significant movement, LeCompte said.

Despite financial challenges as an emerging economy, LeCompte said Ukraine has been able to make its required debt payments over the years.

Russia's invasion throws the country's finances into chaos, however, he said.

Ukraine's $94.7 billion debt is held by domestic and international institutions and individual countries. A breakdown provided by Jubilee USA shows that the World Bank, IMF and international development banks hold about $22 billion; the IMF alone holds more than half of the amount, or about $13.4 billion.

The World Bank is scheduled to debate an aid package for Ukraine March 4. The organization is seeking rapid approval for an emergency loan to help Ukraine defend against Russia's incursion, LeCompte said. Reuters reported the amount to be $350 million.

LeCompte said his organization is urging President Joe Biden's administration to ask Congress to pass an appropriation to cover the payment.

LeCompte said Biden can issue an executive order to delay payments to the private sector in the U.S. during a time when the country needs to spend its resources to respond to the growing humanitarian catastrophe in the country. President George W. Bush took a similar step regarding Iraq's debt during war in the first decade of the 21st century.

That leaves debt payments to Ukrainian banks and individuals. Defaulting on those payments would harm the Ukrainian economy, LeCompte said.

He reiterated the need for the world to be able to quickly respond to crises in whatever form they may take.

"While there's a lot of things that are happening and can happen," LeCompte said, "we're not able to do everything we need to be able to do with the Ukraine crisis or the global pandemic because we still don't have the tools in place that we and the church have been calling for since the last crisis."

 

Read More

Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's Economic Recovery

Crux quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's economy recovery. Read the full article here.

Catholic expert says if you want to help Ukraine, restructure its debt

By John Lavenburg

“In order for Ukraine to get through the current crisis in terms of recovery and its economy, it’s essential they have access to resources. One of those resources is being able to have debt relieved and restructured, in addition to whatever kind of other aid they could get,” Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Crux.

Ukraine’s total debt is about $94.5 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. LeCompte said that as Ukraine faces the crisis of the Russian invasion, there are important steps the IMF, World Bank, and United States can take to alleviate some of its economic challenges.

Ukraine’s debt to the IMF is about $13.4 billion, more than $2 billion of which has to be paid this year unless it’s restructured.

“That’s a particular action the IMF has to look at now, and it would send a strong political signal in support of Ukraine if they were to restructure and move those debt payments to the future,” LeCompte said. “Even if they don’t act now, it’s very likely it’ll be something they have to do [eventually], because Ukraine isn’t going to have the money to pay that debt.”

Of the numerous, tough sanctions that the U.S. and world have placed on Russia in recent weeks, LeCompte said that “in the short term it’s something good to put pressure, but we also need to recognize that in some ways they’re kind of blunt instruments.” He added that the way the global system is set up will ultimately limit the amount of resources Ukraine receives.

“It’s unfortunate that we lack the tools and the financial system to really be able to support countries in crisis because all of the actions that we can take, which are important, are piecemeal, and without some kind of adequate bankruptcy and aid process we’re not going to be able to deliver the full amount of resources Ukraine needs,” LeCompte said.

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Congress Votes Pandemic, Ukraine, Vaccines

Dear Friend,

Our hearts and thoughts are with Ukraine and the media is covering our additional requests to the IMF, Congress and White House to support Ukraine, that you'll see below. First - in the next days, Congress votes on our pandemic response aid as part of the big budget vote scheduled to take place by March 11th. 

Thanks to your petitions and phone calls, we already put legislation in front of Congress that requests $22 billion in pandemic response aid and debt relief, and another $5 billion to help poor countries provide vaccines and treatments. Now we need to make sure it passes. Please call your Senators now.

In a recent commentary in the major Christian magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, Ambassador Sam Brownback and Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte made the moral case for extending Special Drawing Rights aid and vaccines to developing countries. We speak about Africa, where less than 11% of the population are vaccinated and the pandemic continues to wreak havoc. You can read our column on pandemic response here.

As we write in Our Sunday Visitor, developing countries are facing a terrifying economic and humanitarian crisis. Please call your Senators now and ask them to support our Jubilee pandemic response package. Your calls now can make a big difference.

While your voice is needed now on pandemic response, we also see the growing suffering in Ukraine. Jubilee USA's Eric LeCompte offers our thoughts and analysis on what the IMF, Congress and White House can do now to aid and move forward debt relief for Ukraine. Our views are covered by CNN, Fox News and you can read Eric's conversations with Reuters, Catholic News Service and Devex

In the Catholic News Service feature, we highlight that many of the challenges we face with global pandemic response and the Ukraine crisis is because world leaders failed to implement the crisis response tools that Jubilee USA called for since the 2008 crisis.

Thanks for taking action ahead of the Senate voting. Next week we'll need you to do more as we prepare for Puerto Rico votes in Congress.

In partnership,

Aldo

Aldo Caliari
Senior Director of Policy and Strategy
Jubilee USA Network
[email protected]
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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Eric Speaks with Devex on Ukraine's IMF Loans

Devex quotes Eric on Ukraine's IMF Loans. Read the full article here

China-based AIIB and NDB halt work in Russia as sanctions hit

by Shabtai Gold

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has stopped “all activities relating to Russia and Belarus” pending a review, citing the war in Ukraine.

Separately, the New Development Bank — which finances projects in emerging and developing markets and is sometimes known as the “BRICS bank,” in reference to founding members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — said Thursday that it had “put new transactions in Russia on hold” amid “unfolding uncertainties and restrictions.”

Eric LeCompte, executive director at the Jubilee USA Network, told Devex that Ukraine has payments due on IMF loans, which the country will now struggle to make given the dire circumstances.

IMF could “give Ukraine some breathing space,” by agreeing to delay repayments, said LeCompte, whose organization advocates for poverty reduction around debt issues.

“The IMF will likely take that action, but it should do it sooner rather than later, to signal support,” he said.

Read More

Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine

Reuters quoted Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's debt burden. Read the full article here

Ukraine tapped lion's share of IMF reserve allocation, debt pressures building

By Andrea Shalal

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IMF could take several steps to ease Ukraine's debt burden and avert a payments crisis, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Reuters.

Treasury could seek congressional authorization to freeze the $2 million in service payments Ukraine owes the United States this year on its $790 million bilateral debt, he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden could also issue an executive order deferring debt payments to private creditors located in the United States, he said, citing a similar move made by former President George W. Bush during the Iraq war in 2004-2005.

Doing so, he said, would send a "strong signal of support for Ukraine beyond the really good things that the administration has already been doing".

It would also ensure that private creditors don't "use this moment to try and exploit Ukraine", he said.

 

Read More

Devex Quotes Eric LeCompte on Growing Debt Crisis

Devex Invested quoted Eric LeCompte on the growing debt crisis. Read the full article here.

Devex Invested: IFC’s focus on Africa: Makhtar Diop 1 year on

By Shabtai Gold and Adva Saldinger

Experts are worried about a distinct lack of urgency at the G-20 around the growing debt crisis, with the wealthiest nations likely to escape a major economic contraction.

“We are going to see a wave of defaults,” Eric LeCompte, executive director at the Jubilee USA Network, tells Shabtai.

While IMF and the World Bank are also concerned, the sense emerging from last week’s meeting of G-20 finance ministers is that we won’t see serious movement on an international debt relief framework until at least the leaders’ summit in Indonesia toward the end of the year — if at all.

Read More

Yahoo Finance and South China Morning Post Quote Eric LeCompte on Debt, China and the G20

Why is China being blamed for the stalled G20 debt relief plan for distressed countries?

Yahoo Finance and South China Morning Post quoted Eric LeCompte on China, debt relief and the G20. Read the full article here

Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA's executive director and a United Nations finance expert, who has monitored G20 and G7 meetings since 2010, said the debt discussion was one of the most difficult conversations at the G20 meeting.

"Developing countries struggled with a lack of resources before the pandemic hit. Now they struggle with low revenues and rising debts. Without debt relief, we will see a wave of defaults and countries will run out of money to pay their creditors," LeCompte said.

He said the promise of the G20's Common Framework was that it could bring together all creditors, including China and the private sector, under one umbrella. Unfortunately, the private sector was refusing to cooperate, and China was slowing the process down, LeCompte said.

"It appears China wants to cut its own debt deals before the Common Framework process is more fully implemented. This means that the G20 is still lacking consensus to move forward their debt reduction process in a robust and quick way," he said.

"It will probably take more defaults and increased crises, when developing countries run out of money to pay debts, for world leaders to move more rapidly."

 

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