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Jubilee USA Network Petitions IMF to Bolster Healthcare for World’s Poorest People

March 25th, 2020

IMF Coronavirus Action: Protect Vulnerable, Prevent Financial Crisis

Friends,

The coronavirus impacts all of us.

My family and all of us at Jubilee USA are holding you and our world in prayer. Please keep us and our vital mission in your thoughts and prayers as well.

As the coronavirus takes lives, impacts the markets, affects health care and drives a potential global financial crisis – will you sign our urgent IMF petition to cancel debt and expand aid to bolster healthcare for countries affected by Covid-19?

When you sign our petition, you urge actions that can protect all of us from financial crisis, lift the vulnerable and ensure our world emerges to be more resilient in the face of this pandemic.

Because of our work together, we created global processes to bolster healthcare in the developing world when disaster strikes and deathly diseases spread. Ten years ago, when earthquakes decimated Haiti, we moved the International Monetary Fund to create a process to relieve Haiti’s debt and strengthen Haiti’s health and education systems. In 2014, as the Ebola epidemic devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, we successfully transformed that IMF process. The Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust created innovative healthcare grants, debt relief and hundreds of millions of dollars to fight Ebola and put better clinics in place.

Yesterday the head of the IMF told the G20 she wanted to raise the capacity of this catastrophe relief process that can help poor countries wrestling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.

This is very welcome news.

Now we need your help to ensure that more countries can access this and other IMF processes that deliver aid, cancel debt and help our world mitigate the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus. Our petition calls for debt payments to stop while countries battle the coronavirus and its economic impacts.

And yesterday – the President of the World Bank encouraged the G20 to stop debt payments for very poor countries.

African Finance Ministers called for suspension of debt payments to free up $44 billion to fight Covid-19. Ecuador’s Congress also demanded its government stop paying debt.

On Monday, the leadership of Jubilee USA wrote the head of the IMF and urged:

  • Bolstering healthcare in developing countries affected by Covid-19 by increasing debt relief and aid through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust and other expanded processes

  • Mobilizing additional financing resources to support all countries impacted by the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus

  • Enhancing debt restructuring, issuing debt payment moratoriums and creating expedient debt reprofiling processes for countries impacted by the coronavirus

  • Advising countries to emerge from the crisis with more resilience by encouraging policies and agreements to increase protections for the vulnerable, instill greater public budget transparency, implement financial crisis and market protections, promote responsible lending and borrowing and curb corruption and tax evasion

 Jubilee USA’s executive committee, Reverend Steve Herder, Celeste Drake, Rabbi Matthew Cutler, Reverend Aniedi Okure and myself noted in our letter to the head of the IMF:

“Economic forecasts warn that a possible financial crisis or depression, spurred by the coronavirus, could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis. Nearly 100 million people, mostly women and children, were pushed into extreme poverty and 22 million jobs were lost worldwide in the 2008 crisis. The International Labor Organization says the numbers of jobs lost could surpass 50 million as a result of a new, deeper financial crisis… A well-designed, globally-coordinated response from the international community can go a long way to prevent and mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis and move us towards a recovery path.”

Please join us now and urge International Monetary Fund action.

In the coming days and weeks, Jubilee USA will offer more analysis and recommendations for US and international decision makers. More than ever, we are counting on you to take action and join our campaigns.

With our voices joined together, we can recover from this moment and build a more resilient global community.

In hope,

Eric LeCompte

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