Call the Senate: Urgent Stimulus Package Debt and Development Negotiations

COVID Stimulus Package Must Ratify Debt Relief for Poor Countries: In April, together we won White House and Treasury support for 6 months of debt cancellation for the 25 poorest countries and a debt payment suspension for the 73 poorest countries. Now Congress needs to ratify and expand this debt relief. 

Call the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators. You will need to call twice to reach each of your US Senators.

If you need help finding your Senators, you can ask the Capitol Switchboard attendant by telling them what state you reside or use this link.

Once you are connected, ask to leave a time-sensitive Stimulus Package message for your Senator.

"Thank you for taking my call. I live in the Senator's state and my address is______________. Please tell your boss, that the current Stimulus Package should include international development assistance. Specifically debt relief measures that are supported by the White House and US Treasury for the 73 poorest countries of the world must move forward. In addition, please support measures that can cancel debt and support accountable reporting to Congress on how debt relief helps these 73 developing countries address the severe health and economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis. Thank-you."

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Devex Quotes Eric LeCompte on G20 meeting, lack of decisions

A steep budget cut for U.K. aid, the G-20 falls short on debt relief decisions, and the European Union’s pandemic aid package goes missing. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

UK aid cuts, G-20 debt delays, and the EU's budget deal: This week in development

By Michael Igoe

The U.K. government plans to cut its aid budget by $3.7 billion — a larger reduction than many expected — which was announced without consultation or explanation, critics say. The decrease, described in a letter from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to chairs of parliamentary select committees and first reported by Devex, amounts to roughly 20% of the country’s aid budget and reflects Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s direction to reduce aid in line with projected economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, the Prime Minister asked me to identify the changes needed to ensure we meet, but do not exceed the 0.7% commitment," Raab wrote, referring to the U.K. law that ties aid spending to gross national income. “What kind of people are we that we are taking steps to avoid spending more than we have to on aid in the midst of a global health and economic crisis?” Owen Barder, CEO of Precision Agriculture for Development, asked on Twitter. Some of the cuts are expected to take place immediately, and Raab wrote that the “package includes underspends, delaying activity and stopping some spend.” The government will also tailor its spending for the remainder of the year as it develops a “clearer economic picture.” Sarah Champion, chair of the International Development Committee, which monitors official development assistance spending, told Devex she is worried about “the speed at which these decisions have been made, the lack of transparency about what is being cut and why, and clearly the lack of consultation about it.”

The G-20 pushed decisions about further debt suspension or forgiveness off to the fall. The group of leading rich and developing nations met last weekend and discussed additional action but could not come to agreement. A communiqué from the G-20 meeting reported that 42 countries have requested to participate in the debt service suspension initiative announced in April, which means about $5.3 billion in debt payments will be deferred. The G-20 used stronger language to call on the private sector to participate in the debt freeze. Development advocates hoped to see at least an extension of debt relief, as well as conversations that would lay the groundwork for future debt forgiveness, action on helping cash-strapped middle-income countries, and discussions on issuing International Monetary Fund special drawing rights. “Given how severe the crisis continues to be, we hoped that would see at least some minimal action,” Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, told Devex. The G-20 got caught up in politics and could not build the consensus it needed to make a decision, he said, adding that delays in decision-making could cost lives and create difficulties for countries planning their finances.

European Union leaders agreed to a long-awaited budget deal on Tuesday, adding an $860 billion pandemic recovery fund to a seven-year, $1.24 trillion budget. The deal left some development advocates underwhelmed, as it included only a slight increase in external spending — from an estimated $113 billion in the previous cycle to $114 billion for 2021-2027. The European Commission had previously proposed an additional $18 billion development and humanitarian spending package, but this proposal disappeared over the course of difficult negotiations among states grappling with the economic shock of the pandemic. Andrew Sherriff, head of the European external affairs program at the European Centre for Development Policy Management think tank, told Devex the outcome was disappointing, given “the rhetoric of the Geopolitical commission, COVID-19's global impact, addressing climate change and much talk about an enhanced partnership with Africa,” though he noted that external spending fared better in the negotiations than some other budget lines. Others pointed to silver linings including a digital levy, environmental taxes, and a possible financial transaction tax.

Read more here.

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Vatican News Highlights Eric LeCompte's Remarks on G20 Talks

Vatican News talked to Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte about the recent G20 discussions on coronavirus relief efforts. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Covid 19: G20 nations put off debt relief decisions until autumn meeting

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ

Reacting to the latest development, Jubilee USA Executive Director, Eric LeCompte, said that he “had hoped the debt payment suspension for the world’s poorest countries would be continued into 2021 given the severity of the crisis.”

Appeals for expanded debt suspension - 

Ahead of last Saturday’s meeting, Jubilee USA, an interfaith alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations, sent a letter to the G20 Finance Ministers calling for action in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. 

The letter, signed by over 200 organizations, recommended expanded debt relief, more aid for developing countries, processes to curb corruption, and enacting market and financial crisis protections for more developing countries.

Read more here.

 

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House Vote Now: Jubilee Corporate Transparency, Human Trafficking, Debt, Tax, AML

Friends,

The House is about to vote on an amendment for Jubilee legislation a decade in the making. Our legislation can help stop human trafficking, promote transparency, curb corruption and tax evasion and protect debt relief and development aid. 

This is happening because of the tens of thousands of calls, e-mails, letters and messages you sent to Congress over the last year and a half.

Please call your US Representative now and ask them to vote YES on House Amendment 1 Corporate Transparency Act. This will reveal the true owners of secret, "anonymous" shell companies.

Development aid and debt relief are stolen by dictators through the use of shell companies.

We coordinated 100 faith communities and organizations to urge Congress to pass strong transparency measures that reveal the true ownership of these anonymous companies. Our religious groups, calling for greater transparency, 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.

Please make a call today and urge your US Representative to stop human trafficking, corruption and tax evasion. Call your US Representative now and tell them to protect development aid and debt relief and support Amendment 1, en bloc 1 - the Maloney Amendment.

Thanks,

Zach

Zachary Conti
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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G20 Waits for Fall Meetings for Coronavirus Crisis Decisions

Washington DC - On Saturday, G20 Finance Ministers met virtually on the global health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. A communiqué issued by the Ministers pushed decisions on the crisis to later in the year.

"Decisions on further debt payment suspensions, permanent reductions of debt, trillions of dollars of needed aid and extending debt relief to more struggling countries will be left for meetings later this year," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who monitors the G20. "We had hoped the debt payment suspension for the world's poorest countries would be continued into 2021 given the severity of the crisis."

In April the G20 approved a plan for 73 developing countries to suspend debt payments to G20 countries. 42 countries applied for the program that offers debt relief until the end of 2020.

"The G20 Finance Ministers offered stronger language on private sector participation in debt relief initiatives for poor countries," said LeCompte who serves on United Nations finance expert groups. "This is important as some private sector creditors are resisting the debt relief process."

Jubilee USA organized a letter, signed by hundreds of organizations, to the G20 Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting calling for action in the face of the coronavirus crisis. The letter recommended expanded debt relief, more aid for developing countries, processes to curb tax evasion and corruption and enacting market and financial crisis protections. The letter was signed by more than 200 groups and included some of the largest religious, labor, human rights, development and environmental institutions.

In the Fall, the United Nations General Assembly meets. However the next round of decisions on coronavirus health and economic solutions most likely will take place at October IMF and World Bank meetings and November G20 meetings.

"The G20 wants to see more aid and financing options to consider from the IMF in the Fall. This is an allusion to accessing global reserve funds or what's known as the Special Drawing Rights," said LeCompte. "The Finance Ministers also emphasized again a strong commitment to moving forward global anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws."

Read the G20 Finance Minister Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 letter from hundreds of Religious, Labor, Human Rights, Environmental and Development Groups.

Read the Jubilee USA letter to the G20, IMF and White House signed by 213 groups.

Read Jubilee USA's March coronavirus response plan letter.

Read Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte's June 2nd address to the special session of the United Nations on coronavirus crisis solutions here.

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Sol features Eric LeCompte on G20 postponing Covid-19 debt decisions

Sol, one of the largest national newspapers in Portugal, talked with Eric LeCompte about the G20 postponing decisions on sovereign debt until the fall. Read the full story here.

G20 criticado por adiar decisão sobre extensão da moratória da dívida 

"Dada a gravidade da situação, esperávamos mais ação por parte do G20", resumiu o ativista Eric Lecompte, responsável pela ONG Jubileu USA Network, reagindo ao adiamento de uma decisão sobre a extensão da Iniciativa para a Suspensão do Serviço da Dívida (DSSI), anunciada em abril pelo G20 e que dura até final deste ano.

LeCompte disse que apesar da falta de um compromisso para a extensão da moratória, uma das principais expectativas sobre esta reunião do G20, liderado este ano pela Arábia Saudita, um dos aspetos positivos foi a linguagem, que é agora mais dura para com os credores privados.

"O comunicado do G20 diz que os líderes 'encorajaram fortemente' os credores privados a juntarem-se à iniciativa da suspensão da dívida, quando em abril apenas 'apelaram', e isto é importante porque alguns credores privados têm resistido a juntar-se a este processo de alívio da dívida", disse o ativista em declarações à agência de informação financeira Bloomberg.

Read more here.

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Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance feature Eric LeCompte's analysis of G20 Finance Ministers Meeting

Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance featured Eric LeCompte's analysis of what happened at the G20 finance minister meeting this weekend and what it means for debt relief efforts in the next few months. Read the full story here.

G-20 to Make Debt Relief Extension Call Closer to Year End

By Eric Martin and William Horobin

However, the commitments made at Saturday’s meeting may not yet go far enough, according to Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for debt relief for smaller economies.

“Given the severity of the current crisis, we hoped we’d see more action,” Jubilee’s Eric LeCompte said in a statement.

LeCompte highlighted as a positive the G-20’s stronger language Saturday in its communique, where it “strongly encouraged” private creditors to join the debt suspension initiative. That was a more forceful appeal than in April, when the nations said they would “call on” the private sector to participate. That’s important because some private sector creditors have been resisting the debt relief process, he said.

Read more here.

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Next Steps: G20 Kicks COVID Crisis Decisions to Fall

Friends,

Given the severity of the current coronavirus crisis, we hoped we'd see more G20 action today. Since February your actions have won a lot - but now that major decisions will be later this year and next year, we can't slowdown our efforts.

Over the last week, Finance Ministers and the World Bank expressed hope the debt payment suspension we won for the 73 poorest countries would be extended into next year. France's Finance Minister says we almost have an agreement. Unfortunately, decisions on further debt payment suspensions, permanent reductions of debt, trillions of dollars of needed aid and extending debt relief to more struggling countries will be left for meetings later this year.

Positively, the G20 Finance Ministers heeded our call for stronger language on the need for the private sector to participate in debt payment relief initiatives for the world's poorest countries. The G20 wants to see more aid options for countries that need help from the IMF in the Fall. This is an allusion to accessing global reserve funds or what's known as the Special Drawing Rights. We also saw the G20 respond to our call on strengthening global anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws.

Now we need to prepare for the next phase of action. 

The thousands of petitions you generated and our G20 letter signed by hundreds of religious, labor, human rights, development and labor groups was covered this morning in Fox News, Reuters and the New York Times.

Also - our opinion on today's G20 Finance Minister Meeting was given the famous "last word" in thousands of news outlets, like Bloomberg.

We need your help to continue these actions and our advocacy through the Fall and the new year when the next decisions will be made. The United Nations General Assembly meets in September. However the next round of decisions on coronavirus health and economic solutions most likely will take place at the October IMF and World Bank meetings and November G20 meetings. 

We need to win our Jubilee USA proposals on expanded debt relief, trillions of dollars of aid for countries that need it and processes to curb tax evasion and corruption. We need to enact market and financial crisis protections. We need to move forward emergency access to the global reserve funds or what's known as the Special Drawing Rights. It's up to us to ensure that all people and our planet can emerge with more resilience and we have the tools in place to prevent the next crisis.

Please sign-up to be a part of our annual Jubilee Weekend that takes places as world leaders will make the next round of decisions, the October World Bank and IMF meetings. Our weekend's theme is "Jubilee Weekend: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus." Be a part of hundreds of events that include webinars, petition drives and prayer services.

Some people will organize virtual discussion groups and petition drives. Hundreds of faith communities will include a prayer or special action during their worship services. Please sign-up as we move world leaders on our coronavirus crisis solutions.

In the coming weeks we'll also need your help on several Congressional and stimulus votes. Be on the look out for action alerts on Puerto Rico, student debt, our Jubilee Anti-Money Laundering Act and ratifying all of the debt relief initiatives we won in April.

Finally, all gifts to Jubilee USA Network are doubled now. Please join me and make a contribution to support our coronavirus campaigns.

So grateful for your partnership,

Eric

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us
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Fox News, the New York Times and Reuters highlight Jubilee USA's G20 letter and cite Eric LeCompte

Jubilee USA's letter to the G20 was spotlighted in numerous publications. Read an excerpt below and click here for a full story.

G20 finance officials poised to recommend extension of debt freeze

By Reuters

More than 200 religious, labor, human rights, environmental and development groups signed a separate letter spearheaded by Jubilee USA Network that was sent to G20 leaders, the White House and the International Monetary Fund this week.

"The G20 will make decisions this weekend that affect the survival of billions of vulnerable people confronting the pandemic," said Eric LeCompte, the group's executive director.

"We need to mobilize a lot more resources for people to confront the crisis."

Read more here.

 



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G20 Finance Ministers Kick COVID Crisis Decisions to Fall

Washington DC - Chaired by Saudi Arabia, G20 Finance Ministers met virtually and focused on the global health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. A communiqué issued by the Ministers suggested most decisions on the crisis will be made later in the year.

"The G20 Finance Ministers offered stronger language on the need for the private sector to participate in debt payment relief initiatives for the world's poorest countries," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who monitors the G20. "This is important as some private sector creditors are resisting the debt relief process."

Jubilee USA organized a letter, signed by hundreds of organizations, to the G20 Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting calling for action in the face of the coronavirus crisis. The letter recommended expanded debt relief, more aid for developing countries, processes to curb tax evasion and corruption and enacting market and financial crisis protections. The letter was signed by more than 200 groups and included some of the largest religious, labor, human rights, development and environmental institutions. 

In April the G20 approved a plan for 73 developing countries to suspend debt payments to G20 countries. 42 countries applied for the program that offers debt relief until the end of 2020.

"Given the severity of the current crisis, we hoped we'd see more action, including extending the debt payment suspension initiative into next year," said LeCompte who serves on United Nations finance expert groups. "Decisions on further debt payment suspensions, permanent reductions of debt, trillions of dollars of needed aid and extending debt relief to more struggling countries will be left for meetings later this year."

In the Fall, the United Nations General Assembly meets. However the next round of decisions on coronavirus health and economic solutions most likely will take place at October IMF and World Bank meetings and November G20 meetings.

"The G20 wants to see more aid and financing options to consider from the IMF in the Fall. This is an allusion to accessing global reserve funds or what's known as the Special Drawing Rights," said LeCompte. "The Finance Ministers also emphasized again a strong commitment to moving forward global anti-money laundering laws."

Read the G20 Finance Minister Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 letter from hundreds of Religious, Labor, Human Rights, Environmental and Development Groups.

Read the Jubilee USA letter to the G20, IMF and White House signed by 213 groups.

Read Jubilee USA's March coronavirus response plan letter.

Read Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte's June 2nd address to the special session of the United Nations on coronavirus crisis solutions here.

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G20 Finance Ministers Issue Communiqué

Washington DC - Chaired by Saudi Arabia, G20 Finance Ministers met virtually and focused on the global health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. 

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the G20 Finance Minister Communiqué:

"The G20 Finance Ministers offered stronger language on the need for the private sector to participate in debt payment relief initiatives for the world's poorest countries.

"Given the severity of the current crisis, we hoped we'd see more action, including increasing the debt payment suspension initiative into next year.

"Decisions on further debt payment suspensions, permanent reductions of debt, trillions of dollars of needed aid and extending debt relief to more struggling countries will be left for meetings later this year.

"The G20 emphasized again it's strong commitment to moving forward global anti-money laundering laws."

Read the G20 Finance Minister Communiqué here

 

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Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance and hundreds of news outlets feature Eric LeCompte's thoughts on G20 Finance Ministers Meeting

Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte's comments were featured by hundreds of outlets Friday ahead of the G20 finance minister meeting being held on July 18. Read an excerpt below and find the full story here.

G-20 May Now Look Beyond Initial Debt Relief to Poor Nations

By Eric Martin and Marton Eder

However, charities including Oxfam said the relief so far to the world’s poorest nations is “woefully inadequate.” Saturday’s discussions could touch on extending the debt pause beyond 2020 and adding middle-income countries, said Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for debt relief for smaller economies.

France’s main priorities for the meeting will be to extend the moratorium on debt service for the poorest countries to 2021 and encourage international negotiations for digital and minimum taxation, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. Discussion regarding a new allocation of special drawing rights at the IMF will likely remain on the table, according to a finance ministry official.

A proposal to increase these reserve assets, which would boost the IMF’s lending power, was blocked by the U.S. at the lender’s April meeting. However, China’s central bank governor on Thursday called on the IMF to use a new issue of SDRs to help developing countries.

Read more here.

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