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The Mission of Jubilee USA Network Remains Critical April 15th, 2020
As the world’s major trade blocs and financial institutions convene over the next few days to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis, many of the largest religious institutions are urging them to protect the world’s poor by providing debt relief and additional resources.
In recent days, OMI JPIC joined 80 national religious institutions, congregations and partners in a letter organized by Jubilee USA Network to confront the coronavirus crisis. The letter was delivered to the White House, G20 and IMF.
Signers of the letter join calls from Pope Francis, the US Catholic Bishops and 165 world leaders encouraging additional resources, aid and debt relief to ensure all countries can withstand the crisis.
On a positive front, earlier this week the International Monetary Fund approved $500 million to cancel six months of debt payments for 25 of the world’s most impoverished countries: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
While applauding this move, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network is pushing for an expansion of this list to include more countries where people live in extreme poverty.
Also reacting to this week’s events, Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Missionary Oblates JPIC director remarked, “the chains of financial indebtedness have imprisoned millions around the world for too many years. We need to continue to press on this critical issue which we have dodged consistently over the decades.” “This crisis may be providing us with ‘no other choice’ scenario as we recognize that we are all in this together,” he adds.
The Missionary Oblates were founders of Jubilee USA and have been active members over the years.
Read more about Jubilee USA Network’s recent actions by visiting their website.
Pope Francis and World Leaders Call for Inclusive Economy February 5th, 2020
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.
Jubilee USA: Keeping our Promises to Finance Development December 20th, 2019
Author: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network (OMI JPIC Partner)
According to UNCTAD, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved with a 5-7 trillion US dollar investment. If we fund the SDGs, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission notes that 12 trillion US dollars of new market opportunities and 380 million new jobs could be created. Yet we know that the developing world is losing a trillion dollars a year, and according to the IMF’s latest report – 15 trillion US dollars is held in tax havens and financial secrecy havens.
UNCTAD notes that debt sustainability in developing countries is “deteriorating fast”, and the IMF states that as of last August, 47 per cent of low-income countries were in debt crisis or facing high debt distress. Human beings are suffering. In too many poor countries, high debts mean people don’t eat, people don’t see doctors and communities are unprepared to deal with the havoc caused by tsunamis, hurricanes, earth quakes and other extreme weather events. Read the full article on Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s website.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung ((FES) is a non-profit German foundation
Religious Institutions Urge Senate to Pass Financial Transparency Legislation December 13th, 2019
Nearly 80 national religious bodies and local churches, synagogues and Muslim groups, including Missionary Oblates sent a letter to the US Senate urging passage of the ILLICIT CASH Act (S.2563) and the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1978).
OMI JPIC partner Jubilee USA coordinated the letter. In a press release, Jubilee’s director Eric LeCompte notes: “It will be more difficult for dictators to use shell companies to secretly steal development aid and for human traffickers to hide their profits once this legislation passes the Senate. The legislation reveals the true owners of shell companies to law enforcement.”
The letter states: “We write to urge you to support legislative actions in line with our faith…legislation that promotes transparency, fights corruption and protects the vulnerable,” stated the religious groups which included the Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and United Church of Christ Churches.
The legislation is supported by the White House and passed the House of Representatives in October.
Read the Religious Organization Senate Transparency Letter here
Link for Sharing the Press Release: https://www.jubileeusa.org/pr_cta_letter_2019
Link to Religious Senate Letter and Signers: https://www.jubileeusa.org/jusa_cta_sign_on_letter_2019
Link for your Faith Community to Sign-on before next Senate Delivery: https://forms.gle/bzUEuXejacH5iS6T6
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 700 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 wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world’s poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org
Argentina Takes on Vulture Funds in “Debt Trial of the Century” April 23rd, 2013
For years, “vulture funds” have preyed on struggling nations by purchasing their debt for a pittance. Could an upcoming U.S. court decision put an end to the extortion of poor countries?
Last October, soldiers from the West African nation of Ghana boarded an Argentine naval ship called the Libertad. They overtook the crew and brought the ship to port in the town of Tema. This was not an act of piracy, at least not in the sense we normally understand it. The detaining of the Libertad took place after hedge fund NML Capital convinced a Ghanaian court that the ship, which was sailing in Ghanaian jurisdiction, should be held ransom for a debt the hedge funds claimed Argentina owed them.
The saga began in 2001, when Argentina was thrown into economic crisis and defaulted on its loans. Hedge funds swooped in and bought Argentine debt for almost nothing and circled until the country was in recovery to collect the debt in full.