Eric LeCompte Featured in Devex on Debt Relief for Islands at UN FFD Forum
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Devex speaking on the Financing for Development meetings at the United Nations last week in New York. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
UN financing forum sees focus on debt relief for vulnerable Caribbean nations
So far, there is no specific debt relief action plan for the Caribbean region, but it’s something to watch for at upcoming global summits, including the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in the fall, said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Jubilee USA Network.
“We see a consensus emerging about the need for a debt relief process for Caribbean islands to protect them from hurricanes and other natural disasters,” LeCompte said. “What people are really talking about now, is how do we have a permanent process in place that looks to structure and relieve debt after a crisis occurs?”
“There is momentum with the hurricane season, trying to get anything in place,” LeCompte explained. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have never seen a moment where global decision makers are taking the situation as seriously as they are now. The seriousness is incredibly significant. If Jamaica gets hit by a Category Five, what does that do to the entire region?”
Read more here.
New Law Provides Disaster Relief and Medicaid Funds for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
"The human suffering in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands continues, so I'm happy Republican and Democratic leadership could agree on disaster relief and healthcare funding for the poor," noted Jubilee USA Director, Eric LeCompte whose organization generated thousands of e-mails and phone calls to Congress ahead of the vote. "The work of Congress is not over yet. The aid package falls short of what the islands need and Congress will need to approve more disaster relief in the months ahead."
The spending bill includes more than $11 billion in recovery aid for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. More than $2 billion will be available to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid. Moody's rating agency and the US Territory Governments estimate that more than $100 billion is needed to fully fund recovery and rebuilding efforts.
The law also includes money for Puerto Rico's Medicaid program that serves poor populations. Until Congress acted, Puerto Rico's Medicaid funding was weeks away from running out.
"We applaud Congress for moving forward the Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico," said LeCompte. "This program is critical for anti-poverty efforts and will generate billions of dollars for Puerto Rico's economy."
Religious leaders in Puerto Rico and across the United States have advocated for Medicaid financing with Congress and the White House for more than two years.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 700 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee is building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief for the world's poorest people.
Our efforts build the political support needed to influence world-wide decision makers, the White House, Congress, the G20, International Financial Institutions and the United Nations to promote poverty reduction and move solutions to the international debt crisis. Ultimately, we work to create an international financial system that protects and ensures participation of the most vulnerable within the context of human rights. Our advocacy promotes responsible lending and borrowing, increasing debt relief for poor countries, curbing illicit financial flows and corporate tax avoidance, moving forward an international debt resolution process, pushing reforms in international financial institutions and protecting poor people from predatory financial behavior.
Our efforts focus on the following areas. Click below to learn more.