Jubilee USA

For Immediate Release

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World Bank Says Bold Debt Relief Plans Needed to Confront COVID Crisis

WASHINGTON - World Bank President David Malpass called for debt cancellation for poor countries struggling with the coronavirus, in an interview he gave to The Guardian.

"The coronavirus crisis is both a health and economic crisis and many developing countries can't address the critical needs of their people while paying debts," noted Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA and a United Nations debt expert. "Many countries are experiencing both dramatic losses in revenue and rising costs to address the impacts of this crisis."

Malpass asserted that new World Bank data would illustrate that 100 million people were pushed into poverty by the crisis. He explained the crisis was worse than the crisis of 2008 and that more bold polices were needed from the G7 and G20. The G20 offered debt payment suspension policies for the 73 poorest countries in April that could save poor countries $12 billion in 2020.

"The only way for many developing countries to get on the otherside of this crisis is to cancel debts," stated LeCompte who monitors World Bank policies. "The private sector needs to participate in debt relief plans and shouldn't expect taxpayers of developed countries to bail them out."

Malpass shared concerns of private sector actors and China's development bank refusing to participate in current debt relief plans. He argued that these groups could get a "free ride" and take the debt relief and aid being offered by the United States and other advanced economies.

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Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 650 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

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