Bistandsaktuelt Features Aldo Caliari on IMF's New $100 Billion to Developing Countries

Aldo Caliari and Jubilee USA are featured in the Norwegian newspaper Bistandsaktuelt on the IMF's new $100 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to developing countries. Read an excerpt in English below, and click here for the full story.

IMF Will Secure $100 Billion to Developing Countries in Crisis

By Asle Olav Rønning

Aldo Caliari, head of policy-making at Jubilee USA Network , an organization that works to help debt relief for developing countries, says the planned expansion of the IMF's SDRs is a step forward. He points out that a number of actors have worked intensively for more than a year from the time the proposal first came out until it is now time to adopt it.

At the same time, he believes the needs are even greater than what is now on the table. SDRs are not a precise tool, because they are a scheme that applies to all countries.

Jubilee USA Network argued for an SDR allocation of 300 billion dollars precisely because of the skewed distribution, where only about a third of the amount goes to developing countries, Caliari writes in an email to Bistandsaktuelt.

He refers to estimates from the IMF that low-income countries alone will need $200 billion to get through the pandemic, and another $250 billion to return to the same development path for economic growth as high-income countries.

 

Read more here.

 

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Eric LeCompte Featured in Reuters on New IMF Trust

Reuters features Eric LeCompte and Jubilee USA Network on the IMF's new trust regarding pandemic aid and climate change. 

Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Exclusive - IMF eyes new trust to provide aid to broader group of countries - Georgieva

By Andrea Shalal

The IMF expects its board to formally approve the $650 billion SDR allocation in August, paving the way for member countries to donate their unneeded reserves to others in need.

The previously unreported new trust could help broaden the effort and make funds available to more countries, and for broader initiatives, in line with global goals for combating climate change.

Eric LeCompte, an adviser to the United Nations and executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said the IMF’s work on the new trust marked “significant progress” for many middle income countries also hit hard by the pandemic.

“It means that more countries with needs can get aid and resources to get through the pandemic,” he said.

 

Read more here.

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Jubilee USA Statement on G7 Summit and Communiqué

Washington DC - The G7 Summit concludes in the United Kingdom and leaders release a communiqué on COVID-19 response, vaccines, trade, debt relief, tax reform and climate change.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the G7 Summit and communiqué:

“As a third wave of the pandemic hits developing countries, the G7 commits to donating a billion vaccines. This is progress, but falls short of what we need to end the pandemic.

“Waiving pharmaceutical vaccine patents is vital for developing countries to produce and procure coronavirus vaccines. Unfortunately, the G7 failed to support a temporary patent waiver to confront the pandemic.

“We are seeing incredible G7 progress on curbing tax avoidance and corruption. 

"If corporations paid their fair share in taxes, countries would have greater resources to combat the economic shocks caused by the coronavirus.

"The G7's support of curbing tax avoidance lays the groundwork for the G20 to move forward an agreement.

“As countries wrestle with debt crises and the pandemic, the G7 supports reducing and relieving debt.

“The G7 must ensure that the private sector participates in debt relief and debt relief is expanded to help all developing countries in need.

"The creation of $650 billion of emergency reserve currency by August, is a priority for the G7 to confront the economic and health crises spurred by the coronavirus.

“The G7 supports the creation and distribution of Special Drawing Rights to get more vaccines to developing countries, fight climate change and reduce poverty.

"Climate change is a growing priority for the G7.

"The G7 promised critical support for developing countries to build more green infrastructure to confront climate change.

"The G7 sees that some of the most important climate change decisions will happen as a part of global financial decisions and pandemic response."

Read the G7 Summit Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's G7 Summit press release.

Read about the WTO COVID vaccine patent waiver process here.

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G7 Focuses on Vaccines and Economic Response to COVID Crisis

Washington DC – The presidents and prime ministers of 7 of the world's wealthiest countries gather in the United Kingdom to meet on the response to the economic and health crises spurred by the coronavirus. Hosted in the seaside town of Cornwall this weekend, the G7 Summit focuses on global vaccine distribution and tax, debt, aid, trade and climate policies.

“As developing countries struggle with a third wave of the coronavirus, it's clear that the world faces a prolonged economic crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and leader of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “The only way to beat the dire economic forecasts is to distribute vaccines quickly and provide debt relief and aid to developing countries."

Less than 2% of COVID vaccines reached poor countries. The International Monetary Fund asserts the global economy will lose $9 trillion if vaccines are not distributed by 2022 to developing countries.

On Wednesday, the World Trade Organization began a vaccine patent waiver process that could help developing countries produce and procure more vaccines.

“Unfortunately, G7 leaders still have not come to an agreement on waiving the pharmaceutical patents on vaccines,” remarked LeCompte. "More and more people will die as wealthy countries wait to waive COVID vaccine patents."

As a part of the coronavirus response, the G7 supports a debt relief process for poor countries and agreements to curb corporate and digital tax avoidance.

"The G7 tax deal could help boost revenues that countries need to get through the crisis," shared LeCompte.  "While G7 support of debt relief is critical as we confront the pandemic, the G7 should support expanding relief to assist more developing countries in need."

During the summit, the G7 will discuss a $650 billion creation of Special Drawing Rights, a special IMF reserve currency, to respond to the corona economic crisis. Specifically, the G7 will review how these emergency funds can assist developing countries access vaccines, reduce poverty and fight climate change.

“The Special Drawing Rights could be a critical source of funding for the IMF's $50 billion plan to end the pandemic," stated LeCompte.

Read about the WTO vaccine patent waiver process here.

Read Jubilee USA's statement on last week's G7 finance ministers meeting and communiqué here.

Read the Jubilee USA Network press release on last week's G7 finance ministers meeting here.

Read about the IMF $50 billion plan to end the pandemic here.

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Common Dreams Features Eric LeCompte on COVID Vaccine Patent Waiver

A Common Dreams article features Eric LeCompte on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) talks to waive patent rights for the COVID vaccine. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

'Shame It's Taken So Long': Health Advocates Welcome Formal WTO Talks to Suspend Covid Vaccine Patents

By Kenny Stancil

A recent analysis by a coalition of humanitarian groups estimated that at the current vaccination rate, it would take low-income countries 57 years to fully vaccinate their populations against Covid-19.

"Without enough vaccines, developing countries continue to lose lives and jobs," said Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network, whose advocacy work includes pushing for equitable medicine access in trade agreements. "We must move as fast as possible so all people can receive coronavirus vaccines, therapies, and medical equipment to respond to the crisis."

LeCompte added that "unless we act quickly on global vaccine access, most of the world's countries will see lost decades of development. As the crisis worsens in developing countries, wealthy countries will face more economic shocks."

As epidemiologists and advocates for a "people's vaccine" have stressed since the beginning of the pandemic, the more chances the virus has to mutate, the more the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world are endangered.

 

Read the full article here.

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WTO Considers COVID Vaccine Access Waiver for Poor Countries

Washington DC – The World Trade Organization began a process that could make it easier for poor countries to produce or procure COVID-19 vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies hold vaccine patents and WTO action is necessary to waive the patents. Less than 2% of coronavirus vaccines reached poor countries.

“Without enough vaccines, developing countries continue to lose lives and jobs,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's group advocates for equitable medicine access in trade agreements. “We must move as fast as possible so all people can receive coronavirus vaccines, therapies and medical equipment to respond to the crisis.”

The IMF warns of a worrying trend where rich countries have too many vaccines while developing countries face deep vaccine shortages. On Tuesday, the World Bank reported that two-thirds of developing countries are expected to be in worse economic shape than they were before the pandemic.

“Unless we act quickly on global vaccine access, most of the world's countries will see lost decades of development," stated LeCompte. "As the crisis worsens in developing countries, wealthy countries will face more economic shocks." 

Pressure for a vaccine access process intensified on the trade body after the Biden Administration called for a COVID waiver on vaccine patents.
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Pandemic Response: 2020/2021 Report

Friends,

We mourn the loss of too many lives and livelihoods because of the COVID crisis. Several of our solutions to address the current crisis moved forward. There is much work to do. Economic forecasts for most countries and most of the world's people look bleak in a post pandemic world. We can change that. 

Some highlights from our 2020-2021 pandemic response efforts:
  • We had a major victory as the G20, G7, and US agreed to create $650 billion in global reserve funds (Special Drawing Rights). Developing countries will receive over $200 billion in emergency support

  • We won a historic G20 debt reduction process for developing countries suffering from the COVID health and economic crisis. This is the most significant debt relief and anti-corruption process we have won to date with 73 poor countries gaining access to new resources to confront the COVID crisis. Three have already requested relief

  • After 10 years of work, the Corporate Transparency Act passed Congress. Our bipartisan bill sheds light on anonymous shell corporations which shield human traffickers, steal debt relief and enable tax evasion and corruption
  • We facilitated a high-level meeting between Treasury Secretary Yellen and religious leaders. Yellen publicly endorsed Jubilee's positions on debt, aid, and climate change

  • Our campaigns with Puerto Rico religious leaders won a White House award of almost $20 billion for  disaster recovery funds, $1.6 billion food aid and tax measures to reduce the island's staggering 60% child poverty rate

  • The US - Mexico - Canada (USMCA) trade agreement was enacted with our provisions to ensure vulnerable communities have access to lifesaving medicines as well as eliminating harmful arbitration processes

  • We persuaded the White House to freeze student loan payments until September 2021

  • Somalia and Sudan debt relief was supported by the White House, Congress, State Department, Treasury, IMF and World Bank

  • Hundreds of thousands of news outlets covered Jubilee USA coronavirus response efforts

Read and share our Jubilee USA Network 2020-2021 report.

As we take stock of our efforts since the pandemic began, we prepare for the work ahead.

Gratefully,

Eric

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

PS. When you make a gift now to support Jubilee USA's efforts, it will be doubled. Please join me and donate now.

 

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Reuters Quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7's Minimum Global Corporate Tax Rate Deal

A Reuters article quotes Eric LeCompte on the G7 nations' discussions to create a minimum global corporate tax rate. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

UPDATE 1-G7 nations near historic deal on taxing multinationals

By David Milliken

Rich nations have struggled for years to agree on a way to raise more revenue from large multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, which often book profits in jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has given the stalled talks fresh impetus by proposing a minimum global corporation tax rate of 15%, above the level in countries such as Ireland but below the lowest level in the G7.

"All countries face revenue loss when corporations don't pay their share in taxes," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, an alliance of organisations promoting debt relief.

"The G7 needs to support global tax reforms so we have resources for people to get beyond this pandemic," he added.

 

Read the full article here.

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G7 Finance Ministers Encourage Global Tax Reform and Greater Pandemic Response

Washington DC - G7 finance ministers met in London to discuss global COVID-19 response, vaccines, debt relief and global tax reform.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement on the G7 finance minister communiqué and meeting:

"The G7 tax discussion is historic and could mean raising critical revenues for countries to emerge from the crisis with resilience.

"If corporations were paying their fair share in taxes, countries would have had greater resources to combat the economic shocks caused by the pandemic.

"G7 agreements on a global minimum corporate tax and digital taxes can provide revenue to face the pandemic around the world.

"The G7's work on tax reform and corruption is a blow to tax havens.

“The G7 focus on global COVID vaccine access is incredibly important. 

"The biggest threat to the global economic recovery is the lack of vaccine access in most of the world's countries.

"G7 countries must lead the way in donating their surplus vaccines and providing aid to get vaccines to developing countries.

"Regarding discussions on debt relief, the G7 made its strongest statement yet on the need for the private sector to participate in debt relief.

"The G7 was very clear that it expects the private sector to provide at least as much debt relief for developing countries as wealthy countries will provide.

"We must extend debt relief beyond the poorest countries to include all developing countries. Developing middle-income countries face the worst increases in poverty and job loss and also need to receive debt relief.

"As Sudan debt relief moves forward, we are encouraged by G7 support.

"G7 finance ministers urged that the creation of emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights, happens by August.

"Processes to distribute Special Drawing Rights can support developing countries access vaccines, fight climate change and reduce poverty. We still need commitments that these resources can be deployed to all developing countries quickly at a low cost.

"The G7 acknowledged that climate change can only be fully addressed as part of global financial decisions and the pandemic response."

Read the G7 Finance Minister Communiqué here.

Read Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's Statement on Tax Reform and the G7 Meeting here.

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G7 Finance Ministers Meet on COVID Response, Tax and Debt Policies

Washington DC - Discussing global COVID response and tax policy, G7 finance ministers began two days of meetings on Friday.

"All countries face revenue loss when corporations don't pay their share in taxes," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "The G7 needs to support global tax reforms so we have resources for people to get beyond this pandemic."

The G7 is discussing a global corporate minimum tax to pave the way for a July G20 agreement.

In a National Security Study Memorandum released on Thursday, President Biden pledged to lead international efforts to bring transparency to the US and the international financial system.

“Biden is right to focus so much energy on a global corporate minimum tax, digital taxes, tax evasion and corruption," said LeCompte. "Tax evasion and avoidance are reasons why we didn't have enough revenue to prevent the current crisis."

Through Saturday the finance ministers also have talks on debt, global vaccine distribution and deploying emergency reserve funds for developing countries also known as Special Drawing Rights.

"The G7 needs to lead the way to make sure that everyone in the world can access vaccines," stated LeCompte.

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Global Institutions Close Ranks Behind IMF $50 Billion Vaccine Plan

Washington DC - Heads of the primary global financial, trade and health institutions urged government leaders to finance a $50 billion vaccine plan to end the pandemic. “A two-track pandemic is developing, with richer countries having access and poorer ones being left behind,” shared IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank President David Malpass, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Trade Organization Director General Nkozi Okonjo-Iweala in a joint statement.

“Since the IMF released its vaccine plan at the G20 Health Summit 10 days ago, voices are growing to ensure universal vaccine access,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “With what's at stake for everyone's health and the global economy, it's critical that we act quickly and invest more towards global vaccine access."

The IMF argues that the global vaccine investment would spur $9 trillion in economic gains by 2025. The proposal requires the mobilization of public and private donations and cheap loans. The leaders also called for surplus vaccines to be donated to developing countries.

 

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Collegeville Institute Features a Personal Profile of Eric LeCompte

The Collegeville Institute features a personal profile of Jubilee USA Network's Eric LeCompte, titled "All is Possible". Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

All is Possible - A Profile of Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA

By Catherine Hervey

When he was five or six years old, Eric LeCompte accompanied his parents to church and noticed the face of a suffering person in the sanctuary. He asked his parents who it was, and his mother told him it was Christ, the Son of God. His father added that we’re all children of God, and Eric decided something: if that was what happened to the children of God, he didn’t want to be part of it.

Today, Eric is the executive director of Jubilee USA, an interfaith network of more than 650 religious groups working to address the structural causes of global poverty and inequality by advocating for debt relief for impoverished nations. Eric is, by all accounts, very much involved with the suffering he saw on the face of Jesus. 

“If one of us is suffering, we are all suffering,” Eric says. And suffering, in all its myriad forms, is something he describes in the simplest terms: so many of us don’t have enough. Eric’s advocacy for the poor is based on the Jubilee year of the Torah—the fiftieth year when debts were forgiven, the enslaved liberated. These are the kinds of practices, Eric believes, that ensure we all have enough, because for many of the world’s most impoverished people, basic necessities like health care and education could be much more accessible if nations weren’t spending so much capital on debt payments. In Jubilee economics, Eric says, “We all have enough. We provide for each other and we’re protected from having too much.”

That striking choice of words—that the wealthiest of us need protection from having too much—seems at once radical and absolutely true. It brings to mind all the warnings about the perils of wealth in scripture, and also the work of social scientist Brené Brown, whose research indicates that the opposite of scarcity is not actually abundance but simply, as Eric says, enough.

Growing up as the oldest of four children in a working class family on the South Side of Chicago, Eric has his own personal experience with deprivation. “As a child, there were times when my parents were out of work, when our family did not have enough. And certainly that has been an incredible influence on my life, to ensure that all people have enough.”

Eric says his sense of calling didn’t materialize in any particular moment, but over a lifetime of daily prayer. For years he carried a copy of a sermon he heard preached while he was a student at Saint John’s. It was a sermon delivered by now Abbot John Klassen about the martyrs of Algiers, monks who served the local population in Algiers for years before they were killed, knowing each day the risks they were taking. Eric puts the message of the sermon this way: “The great sacrifice of the cross is not faced in just one moment. The great sacrifice comes after bearing small daily crosses, taking small daily risks and sacrifices that prepare us for greater action, greater risk, and perhaps the greatest sacrifice, of our lives.”

 

Read the full article here

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