Yellen: IMF Needs Overhaul to Fight New Global Crises

Washington DC  The IMF needs more tools to fight modern, potentially more frequent global crises, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued in a speech to the Atlantic Council.

“Health, climate and development challenges are creating worse economic shocks and leading to crises that are harder to solve," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “In the face of crisis, countries with more resources can act forcefully while poor countries get left behind."

Yellen’s speech comes days before she joins world leaders for G20 and World Bank/IMF meetings focused on developing countries struggling with debt, vaccine access and climate change. The Ukraine war brings a new shock to the global economy that leaders will discuss. Recently, IMF staff warned that 60% of poor countries are facing debt crisis or economic instability.

“The Ukraine war adds to the dramatic debt challenges in countries that already struggled with the pandemic,” added LeCompte. “It's clear that we need stronger and more efficient tools to solve economic crises.”

Yellen addressed international tax, trade, climate finance, health and pandemic preparedness reforms to modernize global financial institutions so they are fit to face global 21st century challenges.

Read Yellen's full speech here.

Read Eric LeCompte commentary in Barron's on Ukraine's debt and the lack of global financial crisis tools here.

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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Devex Quotes Eric LeCompte on Development Finance

Devex Quotes Executive Director Eric LeCompte on Development Finance. Read the full article here

Devex Invested: Can development finance fix global inequality?

By Adva Saldinger

An expected outcome document from the 2022 forum is likely to reiterate many of the positions agreed in previous years, particularly around tax, trade, and anti-corruption efforts, along with economic and aid issues, according to Eric LeCompte, the executive director at Jubilee USA Network.

But a draft of the document has a few notable additions, he tells me. The final version is likely to recommend an international summit on development financing in 2024. And the draft has stronger language on debt — saying, for example, that the G-20’s Common Framework for debt treatments should move quickly, with a clear process that includes a debt standstill during negotiations. It also calls for a more comprehensive debt solution and for small island developing states to gain access to concessional finance, particularly through IMF.

Another key issue in the document relates to changing how assessments are made by credit rating agencies, which play a significant role in sovereign funding and addressing mounting indebtedness. Hanif says what’s needed is longer-term thinking in credit ratings, which could help decrease borrowing costs for lower-income countries. And ratings agencies now seem willing to engage, he says.

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Bretton Woods Project Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's Debt

The Bretton Woods Project quotes Executive Director Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's debt. Read the full article here

Calls for Ukraine debt relief grow as IMF and World Bank provide fresh loans amidst crisis

Ukraine’s external debt stood at $56.7 billion at the end of 2020, according to the IMF. Jubilee USA executive director Eric LeCompte noted in a 8 March article in Barron’s magazine that Ukraine owed $22 billion to international finance institutions (IFIs), stating: “The IMF holds more than a half of that…debt at $13.4 billion with $2 billion in debt payments owed this year…. Since Ukraine will most likely default on these payments, the IMF should act quickly to restructure the payments.”

The Fund’s executive board subsequently approved a $1.4 billion loan to Ukraine on 9 March via its Rapid Financing Instrument, while the World Bank also released a $723 million financing package on 7 March, including $589 million in new loans. While this financing provides much needed emergency support, it increases Ukraine’s substantial debt load further.

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National Catholic Reporter Quotes Eric LeCompte on Pope Francis' Speech in Malta

National Catholic Reporter quotes Executive Director Eric LeCompte on Pope Francis' speech in Malta. Read the full article here

In Malta, Pope Francis criticizes those responsible for Ukraine war, forced migration

By Christopher White

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an interfaith organization advocating for debt relief for developing countries, said that Malta “has a long history of financial secrecy and has served as a tax haven and home of money laundering and facilitator of terrorist financing.”

"Whenever Pope Francis travels, he puts financial secrecy and corruption in his cross hairs,” LeCompte told NCR. 

“Knowing that secrecy and corruption harms the poor and society, he speaks explicitly about these problems," he said, adding that "the island has implemented many reforms and soon global authorities may remove it from the list of notorious countries that launder money.” 

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West Orlando News Quotes Executive Director Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico

Executive Director Eric LeCompte comments on action needed in Puerto Rico. Read the full article here.  

Puerto Rico: Action Needed to Avoid New Bankruptcy, Reduce Child Poverty

By Rebecca Martin

In a statement on Puerto Rico’s debt settlement, 26 Puerto Rico and US religious leaders asserted that Puerto Rico will need economic development, fully-funded social programs and more than $55 billion in additional disaster aid to avoid new debt defaults. The statement comes after Congress “omnibus” budget negotiations failed to deliver additional Puerto Rico manufacturing jobs and funds for nutrition and supplemental security income. The final budget bill adds $200 million in Puerto Rico Medicaid funding.

“People across Puerto Rico continue to suffer because of the debt crisis and disasters that hit the island in recent years,” explained Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, the organization that coordinated the statement with Puerto Rico religious leaders. “For Puerto Rico’s debt to be sustainable and to reduce the high child poverty rates, new disaster relief and recovery monies are critical.”

 

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Catholic News Service Quotes Jubilee USA on Puerto Rico's Debt

Jubilee USA Network comments on Puerto Rico's debt in an article by Catholic News Service. Read the full article here

Puerto Rico religious leaders welcome long-awaited debt restructuring plan

By: Dennis Sadowski

“We should make sure that the debt payments do not come at the expense of the hunger of our people, including our children, 60% of whom live in stark poverty,” he said in a statement released March 14 by Jubilee USA, an alliance of faith-based development and debt relief advocacy organizations.

In their statement, the religious leaders called on Congress, the White House, creditors and other stakeholders to begin additional measures that would prevent Puerto Rico from having to renegotiate its debt again and to ensure that responses to climate change and “staggering child poverty” are carried out.

The leaders urged that economic development be prioritized so that manufacturing jobs can expand and sustainable infrastructure be built.

They also pressed for at least $50 billion of additional disaster recovery aid and that distribution of the $55 billion already approved be accelerated.

Other measures sought by the group include moving Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories to parity with U.S. states on nutrition, child poverty reduction, Medicaid, Medicare and tax relief programs, and the importance of a “debt audit” to promote transparency and accountability and stop “corruption and impunity.”

“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,” the statement concluded.

 

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Puerto Rico: Action Needed to Avoid New Bankruptcy, Reduce Child Poverty and Support Island Recovery

26 Major US and Puerto Rico Faith Leaders Sign Statement Calling on White House, Congress and Elected Officials to Promote Island Development

Washington, DC In a statement on Puerto Rico’s debt settlement, 26 Puerto Rico and US religious leaders asserted that Puerto Rico will need economic development, fully-funded social programs and more than $55 billion in additional disaster aid to avoid new debt defaults. The statement comes after Congress "omnibus" budget negotiations failed to deliver additional Puerto Rico manufacturing jobs and funds for nutrition and supplemental security income. The final budget bill adds $200 million in Puerto Rico Medicaid funding. 

In January, the judge in charge of Puerto Rico's bankruptcy process, Laura Taylor Swain, approved a debt restructuring for the island.

“While we wished to see deeper debt cuts… Puerto Rico has now the opportunity for a path forward, and to forge a comprehensive strategy for recovery and economic development,” the leaders said in a statement.

The agreement cuts Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt by about 55%, but debt payments will only be sustainable, the religious leaders argue, if growth and economic recovery projections are accurate. The territory’s four-year bankruptcy process took place under federal legislation Jubilee USA and Puerto Rico religious leaders promoted in 2016, after the island defaulted on debt payments.

The leaders laid out a seven-point agenda for Congress, the White House and the island's government to expand manufacturing jobs and infrastructure and moving nutrition, Medicare, tax relief and other programs to the same status with US States. The leaders also urged greater government accountability and an audit of the island's debt.

"We should make sure that the debt payments do not come at the expense of the hunger of our people, including our children, 60% of whom live in stark poverty,” said Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan and a signer of the statement.

The heads of US and Puerto Rico churches signed the letter representing Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Christian (Disciples), Presbyterian, Baptist and Evangelical churches. The 26 signers include leaders of the National and Puerto Rico Council of Churches, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities, the Caribbean Institute of Ecumenical Action and Formation, the Puerto Rico Bible Society and Jubilee USA Network.

"People across Puerto Rico continue to suffer because of the debt crisis and disasters that hit the island in recent years," explained Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, the organization that coordinated the statement with Puerto Rico religious leaders. "For Puerto Rico's debt to be sustainable and to reduce the high child poverty rates, new disaster relief and recovery monies are critical."

Read Religious Leaders Statement on Puerto Rico Debt Deal and Way Forward here

Lea la declaración de los líderes religiosos sobre el acuerdo de la deuda de Puerto Rico y el camino hacia adelante aquí.

Read Jubilee USA's January press release on Puerto Rico's debt settlement here

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Mizraim Belman Guerrero, Communications and Outreach Director
[email protected] / (202) 430-6975

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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.

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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.
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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.

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