For Immediate Release
IMF Head Christine Lagarde Calls for Investment in Job Programs and Moderation of Austerity Policies for Northern Countries
Separate IMF Policies for Poor and Middle Income Countries Continue; Religious Community Calls Upon IMF to Shift Austerity for All Countries
WASHINGTON - During the annual IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, IMF Head Christine Lagarde and IMF Leadership are calling for wealthy countries to invest in job programs and reject or moderate austerity policies. The IMF’s comments are focused towards wealthy developed nations, while policies continue for poor and middle income countries that exacerbate their financial crises. The IMF cites implementation of US and European austerity policies as the reason they cut economic growth projections of 0.2 percentage points in the US and around the globe.
Executive Director Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network, a church-based antipoverty group, releases the following statement:
“Is the IMF suffering from Amnesia? Have they forgotten that it’s their decades-long support for austerity measures that have gotten us into this mess? The religious community is pleased that the IMF has at least turned a corner on austerity promotion in northern countries, but if the Fund is serious about financial recovery they must review their policies that harm poor and middle income countries.
“We encourage the IMF to review their lending and support of austerity policies that are harming economic recovery from Greece to Jamaica.
“If the IMF wants to support a global economy for the common good, they can start by relieving debt for poor countries and continuing 0 percent lending to poor countries beyond 2014. The Fund can get behind an international bankruptcy process for countries and bring more responsibility to its lending. These would be real indications that the IMF is interested in a global recovery that improves lives of people on both sides of the equator.”
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 80 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor, and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.