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Urge your faith leaders to sign a letter to President Obama in support of just economic policies

March 28, 2011

The following alert is circulated by Jubilee USA.

Urge your faith leaders to sign the letter of petition to President Obama to adopt just economic policies which expand debt cancellation to more poor countries. If you are a leader of a religious community, please sign here.

Go here to read the letter to faith leaders asking them to sign the letter to President Obama.

More than a decade ago, countries in the global south were faced with insurmountable debts for loans that were often given for projects that never materialized or to dictators who oppressed their countries’ citizens. Debt burdens meant that many countries continue to be unable to provide basic services for their citizens. When faith leaders gathered together to see how to solve this problem, they found the answer in the text of Leviticus: “Those enslaved because of debts are freed, lands lost because of debt are returned, and community torn by inequality is restored.” This vision of Jubilee became the foundation for a worldwide movement for economic justice. The Jubilee 2000 movement resulted in over $100 billion of debt has been cancelled in 29 countries.

With the current financial crisis, 60 million more people have been put into extreme poverty, countries that haven’t received debt cancellation continue to struggle under debt burdens, and many that have received cancellation are falling back into a cycle of indebtedness. That is why we must call upon our faith leaders once again to urge President Obama and world leaders to raise their voices for the planet’s poorest people.

The Jubilee USA Network has organized an open sign-on letter to President Obama calling for him to repair historical injustices that allow rich people to become wealthier at the expense of poor people, and to work to end the cycle that leads to devastating debt crises. We encourage faith leaders to sign on to the letter, therefore lending their support to this call for a just international economy. The leaders of the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Lay Missioners have already signed on, as well as many other heads of denominations and faith-based groups working for peace with justice.
The letter specifically calls on world leaders and lending institutions to:

  • Build on the success of Jubilee debt cancellation and extend those benefits to more impoverished countries in dire need.
  • Establish a neutral debt platform that provides a fair, transparent, and accountable stage for both lenders and borrowers to work out unsustainable debt burdens.
  • Establish standards for responsible lending and borrowing to ensure that financial assistance to poor countries improves livelihoods, protects human rights and the environment, and promotes true, sustainable development.
  • Reduce impoverished countries’ need for borrowing by stemming the illicit flow of resources out of poor countries, as well as mobilizing sufficient grant assistance for developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to adapt to climate change.
  • Transform international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF to end harmful economic and political conditions attached to their assistance and make them accountable to the vulnerable who are most affected by their policies.

Click here to see the letter to President Obama and its current signatories.

Click here to see the letter written to faith leaders, encouraging them to sign on.

For more information about this campaign, visit Jubilee USA’s website.

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