Mexican Newspaper La Silla Rota Features the Atlas of Vulnerability

Mexican newspaper La Silla Rota featured the Atlas of Vulnerability by Jubilee USA and LATINDADD in an article about how existing crises are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read an excerpt below (translated from Spanish) and find the full article here.

Mexico, Poor or Middle-Class Country?

According to the report entitled Vulnerability Atlas, the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean documents that 48.8 percent of the Mexican population lives in poverty, while in Honduras 64.7 and in Guatemala, 59.3 percent. With this, Mexico is far from the countries that registered the best conditions, since Chile, Uruguay and Panama only have 10.8, 11.6 and 20.7 percent of their respective populations in precarious income.

According to Latindadd, poverty acts as an amplifying factor of the economic and health impacts left by the covid-19 pandemic.

Read the full article here.

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Cronica Digital Mentions Eric LeCompte and Aldo Caliari on New Pandemic Vulnerability Atlas

Cronica Digital mentioned Eric LeCompte and Aldo Caliari in an article discussing Jubilee USA and Latindadd's new Pandemic Vulnerability Map. Read an excerpt below and the full article here. 

Latin America and the Caribbean is the Region in the World Most Effected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte noted that the pandemic affected Latin America and the Caribbean more by factors such as dependence on tourism, decimated by shutdown; pre-existing levels of poverty and inequality; large informal sectors; and narrow tax bases.

LeCompte warned that only countries categorized by the World Bank as low-income can access emergency debt relief and other measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

For Latindadd and Jubilee, this approach can dangerously underestimate the way middle-income countries are suffering the damage of the pandemic.

“We need more action from rich countries so that developing countries can face the crisis,” said Jubilee USA Policy Director Aldo Caliari.

Read the full article here.

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Counter Punch features Eric LeCompte on COP26 outcomes

Counter Punch featured Eric LeCompte in an article about the need for greater commitments from wealthier countries in the fight against climate crises. Read an excerpt below and the full article here

How the Wealthiest Countries Schemed to Avoid Economic Commitments at COP26

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, explained to me in an interview that developing countries are suffering from the fact that “their natural resources were taken during the industrialization period that took place in Europe and the United States in the 1800s and the 1900s, fueling the climate crisis.”

Most of these same nations were left out of the recent climate discussions by the G20, as they are too poor to be considered members of the exclusive club. It remains to be seen if these nations will be able to extract greater commitments at the COP26 meeting.

LeCompte reflected, “it seems right now that there is a lot of despair among countries in terms of if it’s going to be possible to fulfill” pledges like a $100 billion financing pledge to help poorer nations combat climate change. Indeed, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared on Twitter as the summit ended, “While I welcome the G20’s recommitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled.”

 

Read more here

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Paraguayan Newspaper Última Hora Features the Atlas of Vulnerability

Paraguay-based newspaper Última Hora featured the Atlas of Vulnerability by Jubilee USA and LATINDADD in an article about the challenges Latin American countries face in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Read an excerpt below (translated from Spanish) and find the full article here.

Address vulnerabilities to transition to development

This week the Vulnerabilities Atlas was presented, which consists of an interactive platform created by two civil society organizations –Latindadd and Jubilee USA Network– with information from Latin American countries with important indicators of different dimensions of people's lives, such as work, health, education, social protection, the macroeconomic and environmental context of each of the countries.

Paraguay is incorporated into the Atlas with information that comprehensively and holistically shows the main characteristics of its socioeconomic trajectory in recent years.

For the World Bank, our country positioned itself on the international stage as an upper-middle-income country, thanks to the significant growth in GDP in recent years.

However, this positive trajectory of GDP for more than a decade was insufficient to guarantee quality jobs and sufficient tax resources that would allow for universal health, education, social protection policies and effective productive development instruments.

Read the full article here.

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Eric LeCompte featured in Rising Up With Sonali in episode on G-20 summit impacts

Eric LeCompte spoke with Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Rising Up With Sonali, in an episode entitled "Assessing the G-20 Summit on Taxation, Pandemic, and More". Read an excerpt below and listen to the full episode here.

Assessing the G-20 Summit on Taxation, Pandemic, and More

Selected Statements from Eric LeCompte

"At Jubilee, we look at what the structural policies of the financial system are which perpetuate inequality. We look at what the processes are that either we lack or the policies for why we have extreme poverty in the world, and one of those is debt. Countries have debts that are so high they're unable to pay for social services." 

"Countries that were really teetering on the edge before the pandemic are now fully in crisis. We're seeing food shortages around the world. We're seeing significant increases in job loss, with 400m jobs lost mostly in developing middle-income countries."

"COP26 is certainly an important meeting, and it's happening right after the G-20. I think one of the pieces in terms of bold, ambitious commitments that should come out of COP is that it has to influence the G-20 and the IMF, because these institutions will make some of the most significant decisions regarding our planet and climate change over the next 5 years."

 

Listen to the full episode here.

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COP26: New Research Shows Latin American and Caribbean Countries Face Growing Climate Risks

Debt Relief Can Fund Climate Action, Says Religious Development Group

Washington DC – As climate talks continue in Scotland, new research shows that developing countries lack the resources to respond to the climate crisis.

"The Glasgow meetings are critical to protect our planet and the poor who suffer the worst impacts of climate change,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Climate-induced natural disasters and food shortages disproportionately affect developing countries."

Ahead of COP26, Jubilee USA Network and LATINDADD released the Atlas of Vulnerability, focused on 24 Latin American and Caribbean developing countries. The map and research found 75% of countries fall below the global average in country capacity to respond to climate change.

"Debt relief can be an effective tool for helping developing countries take action to respond to climate-caused challenges," noted Jubilee USA's Senior Policy Director, Aldo Caliari. Caliari was one of the authors of the new climate research and wrote a paper last year on debt, climate and pandemic response.

The IMF calculates that developing country costs to deal with climate change rises to $140 billion to $300 billion by 2030. According to the United Nations, half of developing countries pay more than 25% of their budgets servicing debt. In October, 48 vulnerable countries asked for a process to use debt relief to support climate action.

“Developing countries struggle with rising debt levels and responding to the pandemic,” added LeCompte. “Debt relief and additional aid are essential for developing countries as they fight climate change."

In 2009 wealthy countries promised $100 billion in annual financing to developing countries by 2020. According to the OECD, developed countries provided almost $80 billion in 2019 and according to 2020 estimates, it was unlikely that the $100 billion target was met. COP26 brings together delegates from 200 countries to agree on climate actions. The meeting in Glasgow, Scotland comes six years after the Paris Agreement, a deal to address the earth's warming temperature caused by fossil fuel use.

Explore the interactive Jubilee USA Network and LATINDADD Atlas of Vulnerability: Developing Countries and the Pandemic here.

Read highlighted findings from the Atlas of Vulnerability here.

Read the briefing paper "Atlas of Vulnerability: The Pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean" here.

Read the paper on debt and climate from Jubilee USA's Aldo Caliari here.

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National Catholic Reporter Mentions Eric LeCompte's Article in Barron's

The National Catholic Reporter mentioned Eric LeCompte's article on the global COVID response in Barron's. Read the excerpt below and the full article here.

Links: Big Pharma fearmongering; Mark Zuckerberg's Meta; antisemitism on the left

by Michael Sean Winters

At Barron's, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, calls on the G20 summit leaders to leave no country behind as they continue to forge the global response to COVID-19 and the economic dislocation the virus has created. LeCompte is one of the few people who master both Catholic social doctrine and issues of international finance and policy, and can translate the moral principles into policy action. Let's hope the leaders were listening.

Read the full article here.

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Eric LeCompte Featured in Crux on the 26th Annual UN Climate Change Conference

Crux spoke with Eric LeCompte on the 26th Annual UN Climate Change Conference or COP26. Read the excerpt below and the full article here.

Catholic activists say COP26 is about ‘caring for your neighbor’

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Instituto Humanitas Unisinos Features Eric LeCompte on Biden's Meeting with Pope Francis

Instituto Humanitas Unisinos in Brazil featured Eric LeCompte in an article on President Biden's meeting with Pope Francis. Read the excerpt below and the full article here.

Biden praises Pope Francis as "the foremost warrior for peace"

Eric LeCompte , executive director of Jubilee USA Network , told NCR that the meeting between Biden  and Francisco is "crucial" as it highlights "the two most important and open leaders in global policy change before the G20 ."

"The most important decisions on climate change in our lives will be made over the next five years in the G20 and the International Monetary Fund ," said LeCompte . On behalf of Jubilee USA , an interfaith organization that advocates debt relief for countries development, he praised the Biden administration , saying the United States "is now the leading government in responding to the global climate crisis."

LeCompte said the Biden administration was the first to require all government agency spending to comply with its climate mitigation policies.

“No one else in the G20 has really started to do this yet,” he said, adding that he believes Biden's meeting with the pope offers a “united front” to pressure other presidents and prime ministers to do the same.

Read the full article here.

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G20 Summit Communiqué: Health, Climate and Global Economic Recovery

Religious Development Group Releases Statement on G20 Summit and Communiqué

Washington, DC – G20 heads of state met in Rome for the first in-person meeting of the group since the pandemic started. COVID response and recovery, vaccines and climate were on the agenda.

Eric LeCompte is the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. Ahead of the G20 Summit, Jubilee USA Network organized 286 religious, development, labor and environmental groups to press the G20 on pandemic response solutions. LeCompte, releases the following statement on the G20 Leaders' Summit and Communiqué:

"Ending the pandemic and preparing for future global health crises were central to the G20 Rome agenda.

"The world economy faces $5.3 trillion in losses over the next five years if we don’t get COVID under control.

"The tax agreement is good news, but we need to work on a higher mininum tax rate and including developing countries.

"While the G20's new vaccine task force is promising, we still don't have a plan to get the majority of people in developing countries vaccinated by the middle of next year. 

"Wealthy countries are experiencing supply shortages because of the lack of vaccines in developing countries.

"The G20 must move debt relief more quickly as too many countries struggle with food shortages and health crises. 

"Debt relief should be extended to all developing countries, not just those considered the poorest.

"The G20 calls for the private sector to participate in debt relief for poor countries.

"The G20 debt relief framework must include processes that ensure all creditors participate in debt relief.

"Tackling IMF surcharges on loans will provide more space for countries to deal with the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

"The G20 should do more to support debt relief so developing countries can take more action to confront the climate crisis."

"G20 decisions influence what can happen during the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

"The G20 Summit reviewed ways to deliver more emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights, to developing countries to fight the pandemic and climate crisis.

"The G20's call to establish the new resiliency trust will help more than just the poorest countries. Some developing middle-income countries can access resources to fight the pandemic and climate change.

"As developing countries struggle with debt payments and spend money on pandemic recovery, they don't have the funds to address climate change.

"The G20 should do more to support debt relief so developing countries can take more action to confront the climate crisis."

Read the G20 communiqué here.

Jubilee USA organized 286 groups to press the G20 on pandemic response solutions. Read the letter here.

Ahead of the G20 Summit, Jubilee USA Network and LATINDADD released new research on how developing countries are impacted by the pandemic. Read about the release of the Atlas of Vulnerability here.

Explore the interactive Atlas of Vulnerability: Developing Countries and the Pandemic here.

Read Eric LeCompte's commentary in Barron's on leaving no country behind in pandemic response here.
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Eric LeCompte Writes Article in Barron's on Global Pandemic Response

Eric LeCompte wrote a guest article in Barron's on the need to include middle-income countries in a global COVID-19 response and recovery. Read an excerpt below and read the full article here.

The Global Covid Response Is Leaving Millions Behind

We can only end the pandemic if we end it everywhere. Yet, across the world, Covid recovery efforts are leaving hundreds of millions of people behind. As policymakers seek the best way out of the crisis, their efforts should incorporate what we now know: It’s more difficult for developing countries to respond to the pandemic.

The Covid-19 crisis hit developing countries harder than wealthy countries and the effects will linger longer. The International Monetary Fund projects that advanced economies will return to their prepandemic growth trends in 2022, while developing countries will see persistent losses continue for several more years.

A new interactive map and database published by my organization, Jubilee USA Network, and our partners, LATINDADD, shows why developing countries face greater pandemic health and economic challenges.

The database, called the Atlas of Vulnerability, identifies pre-existing challenges that 24 developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean face. These vulnerabilities heightened the impact of the coronavirus crisis. While these developing countries are crushed by the ongoing pandemic, they are left out of solutions decided by world leaders because they are not classified by the World Bank as “low-income.”

Read more here.

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Eric LeCompte Quoted in the National Catholic Reporter on President Biden-Pope Francis Meeting

The National Catholic Reporter quoted Eric LeCompte on a meeting between President Joe Biden and Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 29. Read the excerpt below or read the full article here.

Biden praises Pope Francis at Vatican as 'most significant warrior for peace'

Rome — President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis as "the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met" during a closely watched meeting at the Vatican Oct. 29.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told NCR that the meeting between Biden and Francis is "critical" as it spotlights "the two most important and vocal leaders on changing global policies right before the G20."

"The most important decisions on climate change in our lifetimes will be made over the next five years at the G20 and at the International Monetary Fund," LeCompte explained. On behalf of Jubilee USA, an interfaith organization advocating for debt relief for developing countries, he praised the Biden administration saying that the United States "is now the leading government responding to the global climate crisis."

LeCompte said the Biden administration was the first to mandate that all government agencies' spending comply with its climate mitigation policies.

"No one else in the G20 has actually started to do that yet," he said, adding that he believes that Biden's meeting with the president offers a "united front" to push other presidents and prime ministers to follow suit.

Read more here.

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