Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two Actions for Global Economic Justice

Take two actions today for global justice:
  • Call on the International Monetary Fund to use their extra profit for debt relief for poor countries, and
  • Urge your faith leader to sign a letter to President Obama in support of just economic policies!
Background: Citizens all over the globe are suffering from multiple crises they had no hand in creating: the global economic downturn, high fuel costs and food prices now spiking to all-time highs.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is sitting on $2.8 billion in excess cash, due to higher-than-expected profits from the sale of some of its gold. This week, the IMF Executive Board will discuss what to do with it.

The IMF hardly needs the money, since it already received a $7 billion endowment from gold sales and will bring in $500 million in profits this year from increased lending to countries in crisis. They’re doing so well that they are even planning to refurbish their Washington D.C. headquarters.

While the IMF has extra cash, the World Bank estimates that 44 million people have already been pushed into extreme poverty due to rising food prices. Many of the poorest countries are taking on heavy new debt burdens. Payments on these loans could divert critical resources away from health, education and food for years to come.

Faith Reflection: Scripture teaches us that God is the owner of all creation, including the land that gives us food and yields income for us. In the cycle of jubilee commanded by God, we are taught to support our neighbors in times of difficulty (Leviticus 25). Let us ensure that our leaders implement just economic policies for the least among us.

Please take two actions today:

1) Join thousands around the globe in calling on the IMF to use its extra profits for debt relief to help poor countries in crisis. Sign the petition today, and Jubilee USA staff will deliver your signature at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, April 15-17.

2) Urge your faith leaders to sign a letter to President Obama to adopt just economic policies which expand debt cancellation to more poor countries. Low-income countries continue to pay high debt-servicing fees to the wealthiest countries through international financial institutions. For many of these countries, servicing such a debt means that they can't provide social services for their own citizens.

The letter calls for: an extension of debt cancellation, a neutral platform for future decision making around debt, the establishment of responsible standards of lending and borrowing, and the reform of international financial institutions to make them accountable to the people most affected by their decisions. If you are a leader of a religious community, please sign the letter here.

Alert prepared by Ebuka Mefor, MCC international affairs intern. Adapted from alerts prepared by Jubilee USA Network, of which MCC is a member.

2 comments:

nerkert said...

Fatigue and sadness haven't diminished your compassion for the people of the Haiti. Go, Lexi!(But stop,Lexi,too. You two need a rest. I hope you make it to the beach soon.)

Lynda said...

Hi Ben and Lexi,
Thanks so much for your posts.

I'm interested in beginning conversations with you about the possibility/viability of bringing a group of Bluffton University students to Haiti next May (2012). If you would be willing to have this conversation, please contact me at nycel@bluffton.edu. Thanks very much, Lynda Nyce

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