World Social Forum: Tunis, Tunisia March 26-30, 2013
Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Crystal City, VA April 5-8, 2013
Featured Members Profile:
The Center of Concern is a faith-based organization working in partnership with ecumenical and interfaith networks to bring a prophetic voice for social and economic justice to a global context. Aldo Caliari is the director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project that works on reforms in international financial institutions and is a member of Jubilee USA’s Board.
The United Church of Christ works to proclaim the good news of the Stillspeaking God by building on their core values of continuing testament, extravagant welcome and changing lives by teaching God's redemptive power in individual lives, political systems and governmental policies. The UCC is a denomination of 5,600 churches and 1.2 million members. Mike Neuroth works in the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries as a Policy Advocate for International Issues and is a co-chair on Jubilee USA’s board. And a number of UCC churches are a part of our Jubilee Congregations program.
Learn more about our Network Council.
Thank you for all of your support!
If you're a federal employee, you can donate through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Jubilee is a best of CFC Humancare Charity #55090.
It has been a great year so far. We've had ten victories this year and won more than 10 billion dollars in debt relief.
Take a moment and view our growing movement's efforts below. Please be sure to keep signing our petitions and getting the word out - all of our victories could have never happened without you.
Urge Members of Congress to support responsibility, accountability and transparency at the International Monetary Fund. Tell your Senators and Representative to support legislative measures for responsible lending and borrowing that would benefit the world's poorest and most vulnerable.
We Won Nearly $4 Billion for the World's Poorest
Jubilee USA led a successful two-year international campaign that won nearly $4 billion to benefit the world's poorest. On September 28th, the Executive Board of the IMF voted to move this money to what is essentially debt relief! At the IMF and World Bank's annual meetings in Tokyo, Japan, IMF Managing Director, Christine LaGarde noted that it was Jubilee's efforts that moved the IMF to use the gold sales profits to help the most vulnerable. Read more about our $4 billion dollar win on IMF Gold.
Jubilee Weekend - Communities Coming Together Under One Banner
Each year, Jubilee USA and our worldwide Jubilee partners come together to pray, worship and act in one global voice to further the participation of the most vulnerable in the international financial system during the Week of Action against Global Debt. During this week of action, Jubilee USA hosted our annual Jubilee Weekend on October 12-14. Christian communities hosted our annual Jubilee Sunday, Jewish communities hosted Jubilee Shabbat, this year, Muslim communities participated in our first annual Jubilee Jumah and any community could host our Stand Up, Take Action events.
This year, more than 75 communities prayed and acted for Jubilee in the US. They made paper chains and hosted workshops to educate people in their community on the importance of the Jubilee movement. Many of those who took action are members of our Jubilee Congregations program. Jubilee Congregations are faith communities from all different denominations and from all across the nation who are linking voices and lending support to break the chains of debt and poverty in the developing world by becoming more deeply involved in the work of Jubilee USA Network. Learn how your congregation can become a Jubilee Congregation!
United Nations General Assembly Dedicates Official Session to Jubilee’s International Bankruptcy Process: Jubilee Executive Director Speaks at Special Event
For the first time, the United Nations General Assembly in full session reviewed an important solution to the international debt crisis – an international bankruptcy process. Eric participated and spoke at a special event for delegates on the implementation of an international bankruptcy process. The UN has never promoted a shift to the financial architecture as significant as this process. At this special session, Eric spoke alongside Deputy Secretary-General of the Paris Club and senior officials at the IMF and World Bank. Learn more here.
While domestically there are court procedures in place to assist in the event of bankruptcy, there are no such mechanisms for international debt. Instituting a set of procedures that are independent, fair and pre-existing allow for debt crises to be lessened or avoided. Jubilee USA Network and many of our partners have been urging members of the G20 to consider creating a Fair and Transparent Debt Workout Mechanism. Jubilee USA and our partners have also recently published a joint statement calling for a fair and independent debt workout mechanism. Learn more about our efforts here.
Stopping the Media Blackout of the LIBOR Banking Scandal
Have you heard of one of the largest banking scandals of our time that broke months ago - the LIBOR banking scandal? If not, you have the media to blame. The London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is used as a benchmark for short-term interest rates globally. Jubilee USA Network has worked with our partners to urge NBC Nightly News and ABC World News to stop their blackout coverage of the scandal that affects the world's poorest and so many everyday Americans. We called on the programs to cover the scandal, sent letters and delivered thousands of petitions to their doorstep but the programs still have not responded or covered the scandal. Read our coverage in the Wall Street Journal. Learn more here.
SEC Ruled: We stopped Big Oil
In August, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled in our favor to implement the Cardin-Lugar Rule of Dodd-Frank. This ruling promotes greater transparency in the dealings of oil, coal and extractive industries in the developing world. Our efforts in moving the SEC were even highlighted in their final public ruling! Earlier this year, we collected over 110,000 petitions with the ONE campaign to deliver to the Securities and Exchange Commission. These petitions asserted that the SEC should implement this legislation and reject the lobbying of the oil industry to weaken the rules. Read more about it here.
IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings in Toyko
This year the World Bank and IMF annual meetings were held in Toyko, Japan from October 9-14. Jubilee's Executive Director, Eric LeCompte, joined partners from the global Jubilee movement on panels and at events to discuss solutions to the international debt crisis. Eric moderated and organized a high-level government panel to promote the fair and transparent arbitration process (aka: international bankruptcy court) for IMF Executive Directors and participated on a panel on tax havens and illicit financial flows. Learn more here.
Thanking Chairman Barney Frank: A Champion for Jubilee
On September 11, your Jubilee USA team joined the Bank Information Center to thank one of our greatest champions - Chairman Barney Frank. Hat's off to the Bank Information Center for making this special evening reception possible. Eric LeCompte, Jubilee's Executive Director, along with Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representative Maxine Waters and Representative Gwen Moore, thanked Chairman Frank for winning financial reforms and billions in debt relief. After Eric thanked the Chairman he presented Barney Frank with 55 thank-you letters from our member organizations. Learn more here.
Jubilee and the President's Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa
In July, the White House hosted a conversation to discuss President Obama's Sub-Saharan African strategy with top Obama advisors. Eric LeCompte made connections with debt and revenue. He discussed pushing the International Financial Institutions to implement responsible lending and borrowing principles to reduce debt and promote transparency and accountability. He also made points about empowering African countries by gaining access to their own revenues by curbing illicit financial flows and and tax havens. Learn more here.
Occupy Wall Street's Rolling Jubilee Campaign
This November, Occupy Wall Street launched its Rolling Jubilee campaign as a bailout of the people by the people. The project buys up debt randomly and anonymously and abolishes it instead of collecting on it. For every $1 donated to the cause, Rolling Jubilee is able to abolish $20 worth of debt. In less than one month, Rolling Jubilee has raised over $250,000 that will go to abolish over $5 million in debt. Read more about OWS's Rolling Jubilee here.
Reports surfaced in September that negotiations for $1 billion in debt relief for Egypt from the US were nearing completion. In total, Egypt owes over $3 billion to the US. Reports of debt relief negotiations came on the heels of Egypt's request for a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF, which the US supported. Egypt already has a massive debt from loans that former dictator Hosni Mubarak took out, and continued lending to Egypt will not achieve the results that the people of Egypt desperately need. As the largest debtor nation in the region, the nation needs to make already unsustainable debts more manageable. Learn more here.
Sudanese Debt Relief
|Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sudan, addressing the UN General Assembly discussing debt relief
July 9, 2011 marked the first day of existence for the nation of South Sudan. Following nearly 22 years of conflict in the region, and some 1.5 million deaths, the southern part of Sudan voted its way to independence and autonomy, hoping to begin anew as an independent nation. Independence, however, is not necessarily a cure-all for the region.
One manner in which the international community can lend support to the new nation and the region in general is through debt relief. As part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, the US and international community made a commitment to honor Sudanese debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative, if Sudan meets certain conditions. The President’s FY-13 budget includes $250 million in Sudanese debt relief, which will go towards the US’ prior commitment. Debt relief has the potential to help aid stability in the region, especially for South Sudan. As tensions on the border between South Sudan and Sudan have continued, debt relief is an important tool the US can use to aid the region and support human rights in Sudan.
Guinea Receives Needed Debt Relief
In September, the IMF, World Bank and other governments approved $2.1 billion in debt relief for Guinea, canceling roughly two-thirds of this West African nation's external debt. This will put Guinea on the right path to invest in needed social sectors such as infrastructure, health, education, rural development and governance.
The World Bank Lends Money to Human Rights Abusers in Honduras
The World Bank has loaned $30 million to the Dinant Corporation of Honduras, an African palm oil corporation that belongs to Miguel Facusse, one of Honduras's wealthiest persons and largest landowners. Facusse's security forces are believed to be responsible for the murder of over 80 campesino land rights activists and their supporters in Honduras. Learn more about it and what you can do to urge the World Bank to stop funding human rights abusers here.
Declaring Syria Illegitimate to Help its Citizens
As the world continues to witness atrocities performed by the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Jubilee USA Network has had high-level meetings with Treasury, State and the White House to declare Syria an illegitimate regime. With this declaration, any financial transactions entered into with the al-Assad government would be illegitimate and would not have to be honored by any successor government, meaning any loans or agreements would not have to be paid back or honored. Threatening illegitimacy could prove a useful tool to put pressure on the Syrian government to end its continued human rights abuses if access to credit markets will be severely impeded, and could provide useful in declaring past debt accumulated by al-Assad odious in the future. The citizens of Syria are under the rule of a non-representative and abusive regime and loans contracted by that government should not be passed on to any future representative governments.
Financial Transaction Tax
Across the globe, groups of green suited Merry Men in the style of Robin Hood can be found calling upon governments to instate (and in many cases, like the US, reinstate) a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). The Robin Hood Tax, as it’s been dubbed, is a small tax on the sale of stocks, bonds, derivatives and the like that would be two fold in its benefit: 1.) Create revenue for countries, and 2.) Slow the high-speed, high-risk trading that spurred the recent world-wide economic downturn. So far, twelve EU countries have agreed to move forward with the tax, providing momentum for the U.S. Robin Hood Tax campaign.
Groundbreaking Debt Audits
Pakistan’s National Assembly has declared that a house committee would begin a debt audit of Pakistan’s public debt. This announcement comes after decades of finger pointing between the two major political parties who blame one another for the country’s debt. The audit will examine loans from 1985, when a civilian cabinet took office under military president General Ziaul Haq. Learn more here.
Norway is setting the precedent as the first country to conduct an official debt audit on the debts owed by developing countries. This includes determining the legitimacy of those debts and also establishing binding guidelines for responsible lending. Conducting this audit will increase transparency and is an exciting step forward not only for Norway but also for the world. Learn more here.
Network Council Meeting
We held our annual Network Council meeting on November 15th, bringing together our partners from across the US and the world. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Technical Assistance Larry McDonald joined the meeting for a lively discussion of his office's work, which many were hearing about for the first time. We also hosted international partners to speak on our panel, "The Lost Revenue of the Global South," discussing curbing illicit financial flows, promoting taxation and establishing an international bankruptcy process for sustainable development.
On November 16th, a group of partners joined us for our Hill Drop urging members of the House Financial Services Committee to support legislative measures for responsible lending and borrowing.
US Treasury Responds to Zimbabwe after Jubilee and Zimbabwean Counterparts Travel to the US, Lobby Congress and the Administration
Our global partners from the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) arrived in the US in April for the End the Debt Crisis speaking tour. In DC, they met with representatives at the World Bank, IMF, the US Treasury, key Congressional offices and the Administration. As a result of these meetings, the US Treasury sent a high-level delegation to Zimbabwe to develop a debt relief plan after next year's election. Jubilee Chapters in Oregon and Massachusetts hosted Hopewell Gumbo and Kelvin Hazanwgi at universities, churches and homes to make deeper connections and inform our communities about the intersections of debt, alternative development and human rights in Zimbabwe. Learn more about the tour and the startling beginning of the tour here.
The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Borrowing
Jubilee USA is working with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to introduce the Jubilee Act. In a political environment often stymied by political division, Jubilee USA and our issues have continued to receive strong support from Members of both parties. The Jubilee Act has been introduced into past Congresses, like the 111th and 110th (where it passed the House) with strong bipartisan support. This Jubilee Act is focusing exclusively on the principles of responsible lending and borrowing to get to the root cause of international debt and global poverty, and to help put a permanent end to the cycle of poor country indebtedness. Learn more about our principles in our report, the Responsible Lending and Borrowing Imperative: Addressing the Root Causes of Poverty.
Defuse the Debt Campaign
In addition to our work in the United States, Jubilee USA helped to launch the Defuse the Debt Crisis campaign with 40 of our international partners. This effort will help coordinate actions worldwide to push for an international sovereign debt workout mechanism. Working together, Jubilee USA and our international partners are making big waves!
Linking our Neighbors
Jubilee USA is calling for all of our supporters to take an important step in continuing to build our social justice movement in 2012. If you have been reading our emails over the years, but haven't quite introduced the vision of justice and Jubilee to your congregation, community organization, friends or family, now is the time! Or, if you have an active congregation and community, it's time to reach out to your neighbors. Co-organize an action with a new community, encourage community members to contact Jubilee USA Network about recent events, attend the service, or make connecting with a new community or your own as an important action for justice. Click here to learn more.
Meet Jubilee's Member Organizations
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor and community groups working on global economic reforms to benefit the world’s poorest. These groups range from the Presbyterian Church USA to the American-Jewish World Service to the AFL-CIO. (See our featured member organizations to the top right).
The International Movement
Jubilee USA Network is a part of a global coalition with partners in 50 countries. Jubilee USA serves as a part of the global coordination committee of our international movement. We also work with regional networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Learn more about some of our partners: Eurodad, AFRODAD, LATINDADD, Jubilee South, ZIMCODD, JCRT/Jubilee Zambia, Jubilee Peru, Jubilee Germany, Jubilee Bolivia, Jubilee Asia Pacific,Action Finanzplatzwiss, Jubilee Ecuador, Jubilee UK, Jubilee Ireland and Kenya Debt Relief.
Keep Current! Subscribe to Blog the Debt
Jubilee USA’s blog, Blog the Debt, is a great way to keep up-to-date on Jubilee issues. Blog the Debt follows a wide range of debt and economic justice issues to keep you informed of recent developments and a part of the Jubilee movement conversation. With new and informative posts going up all the time, the best way to stay informed is by signing up for new blog alerts. Here are some of our recent blogs: Lending to Dictator: Bad Loans, Good Business,Parliament of Jersey Stops Vulture Funds, and Burma: Debt Relief and Democratization.
Read our Year End Report
Read about our 10 wins during this very successful year in our year end report.
Jubilee in the News
In addition to direct contact with policymakers, Jubilee USA is currently featured in many prominent news sources, including BBC Focus on Africa, the Wall Street Journal, Catholic News Service, Bloomberg, Yes! Magazine, Reuters, PoliticalNews, Catholic Moral Theology, Accounting Today, Huffington Post, the Hill, the Inter Press Service, All Africa, Fox, U.S. Catholic, National Catholic Reporter and NBC. Jubilee USA has over 1,600 likes on Facebook! Join us on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for our blog alerts.
Work at Jubilee USA
Looking for a way to spend your summer? Intern or volunteer for Jubilee! We are currently looking for summer interns (May/June-August).
We have two job openings that will start this winter: Policy and Advocacy Fellowship and Outreach and Organizing Fellowship. We will accept applications on a rolling basis until filled.
Meet the Jubilee Team
Purchase Your Jubilee USA Holiday Cards Now
Support our life-saving work and give beautiful holiday cards to friends and family! Order your cards today so you can get them before the holidays and spread the mission of Jubilee. 100% of profits go straight to our efforts for global economic justice, human rights and peace.
How Far Your Support Goes
This year, Jubilee's successes touched lives from the Ivory Coast all the way to low-income families in America. As we see the debt crisis spread from the Global South to the Global North, our already ambitious agenda continues to grow. Thanks to your support, we turn less than $300,000 into billions of dollars of impact for millions around the world and at home.
Your donation already makes a huge difference for our work and right now, you can double that impact as we have a $15,000 matching grant from a generous anonymous donor.
If you're a federal employee, you can donate through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Jubilee is a best of CFC Humancare Charity #55090.
Thank you for joining us as we work together to end the international debt crisis for good.