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IMF Coronavirus Action: Protect Vulnerable, Prevent Financial Crisis
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.
Pope Francis addressed a small group of Finance Ministers, the head of the IMF and noted economists urging the creation of new global debt and tax policies that can reduce inequality and end poverty.
“Pope Francis asserts that to live in a world with so much wealth, when there is so much poverty, is sinful,” stated OMI JPIC partner Eric LeCompte who leads the religious development group Jubilee USA. LeCompte serves on United Nations finance expert groups. “Inequality and extreme poverty are the results of current debt and tax policies that concentrate wealth in too few hands.”
The high-level seminar, New Forms of Solidarity Towards fraternal Inclusion, Integration and Innovation Seminar, was organized by the Papal Academy of Social Sciences and held in the historic Casina Pio IV.
During the event, Kristalina Georgieva who heads the IMF, encouraged curbing tax avoidance and evasion. Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz and Argentine Minister of Economy, Martin Guzman related the deep need for a global bankruptcy process to prevent financial and debt crises. Read more about the meeting on Jubilee USA’s website.
On November 7 and 8 Jubilee USA held its Annual National Council Meeting to inform constituents about the crisis in Puerto Rico, responsible lending and borrowing practices in the developing world, especially in Somalia, and Africa’s new debt crisis.
Jubilee USA is a coalition of diverse organizations and international partners including faith communities who advocate for debt cancellation for the world’s most impoverished countries. They also promote fiscal responsible economic policies. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate JPIC has long been a participating member of Jubilee USA. Staff recently attended the 2018 council meeting held at the Methodist building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
The annual meeting events included a congressional briefing on November 7 focused on the theme; Lifting Vulnerable Communities: Ensuring Access to Medicines in Trade and Agreements and US Policy. Presenters at the Jubilee USA council meeting were representatives from American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Puerto Rico Coalition on the Debt and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Panelists reminded attendees of the urgency of the Puerto Rico debt crisis and their recovery efforts, and the growing debt crisis in Somalia and other nations in Africa.
Engage with Jubilee USA by participating in Jubilee Weekend 2018. Join other Religious groups and partners in a weekend of reflection, prayers and actions to end extreme poverty and transform our global economic system.
Religious Coalition Organizes National “Call Congress” Day on Puerto Rico Legislation
Washington DC – A religious development group is organizing thousands of calls to Congress on Wednesday, April 27 to urge action on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Jubilee USA, which is organizing the “Call Congress” day, says constituents are asking for legislation that brings the debt to payable levels, reduces child poverty and respects local democracy. HR 4900, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), was introduced by Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) on April 14 and Jubilee advocates that legislation should pass with several improvements.
“Congress should strengthen and then pass Representative Duffy’s legislation,” said Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA’s executive director. “Puerto Rico’s people cannot wait any longer for Congress to act.”
The call-in campaign will urge Congress to include comprehensive debt restructuring tools in its legislation. Groups running anti-PROMESA ad campaigns oppose those tools as “a bailout” though they do not involve taxpayer money. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt but cannot access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and cannot restructure its debt through its own court system unless the US Supreme Court overturns an existing ruling this June.
“There are no budget cuts or tax hikes that can solve this crisis,” shared LeCompte, who wrote a letter to Congress? urging six changes to PROMESA before passage. “Debt restructuring is a necessity before we can see any economic growth.”
The campaign will call for PROMESA to include language setting clear targets for reducing Puerto Rico’s nearly 60% child poverty rate. Four out of every five children living in Puerto Rico live in “high-poverty” areas. The campaign further asks that PROMESA respect democracy in Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico’s people must be part of the solution,” stated LeCompte. “We pray Puerto Rico’s children are front and center on lawmakers’ minds as they debate this legislation.”
Read a timeline of the crisis in Puerto Rico
Read Jubilee USA’s letter to Congress on the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stablity Act (PROMESA)
See Jubilee USA’s National Puerto Rico Call-In Day campaign page
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world’s poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org
Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Greg Williams, Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org / (o) (202) 783-3566 x101 (m) (443) 854-1405
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.
“In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. “The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws.”
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Despite a disappointing no vote from the United States, the UN General Assembly earlier today voted 124 – 11 to begin negotiations for an international bankruptcy process to end global inequality. The process can potentially stop vulture funds from preying on vulnerable countries and create a global economy that serves all of us.
Unfortunately, the United States government was one of only 11 countries to vote against this treaty process. While the US government is against predatory behavior, they are against this approach. We have much work left to do because today’s UN vote will not outlaw global predatory activity in the United States, one of the most important financial jurisdictions.
Read Jubilee USA’s press release and analysis of the vote here.
Yesterday, we asked you to contact United States UN Ambassador Power and urge her to support the resolution, and we thank everyone who spoke out on this issue. Thousands of faxes, calls and emails were sent to Ambassador Power in response to this request from Jubilee USA and Network members. Churches, synagogues, the AFL-CIO and dozens of Catholic religious orders joined you and amplified our message.
We will continue to update our network on this important issue. For information and analysis on the international debt, please visit Jubilee USA
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