Pass the Jubilee Act NOW!

July 23, 2008

Today, the more-than 600 Anglican bishops participating in the decennial Lambeth Conference will march through Central London in a Walk of Witness - a symbolic moment of solidarity and coming together for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - to reflect to the world God's desire for justice and concern for the poor.

As the bishops walk through London, the United States Senate is about to consider one of the most important bills of the last decade to focus on fighting global poverty. The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Debt Cancellation (S. 2166) would continue the process of canceling the debts of dozens of poor countries around the world so that they can invest in achieving the MDGs. The House has already passed the Jubilee Act, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has given the bill its strong bipartisan backing. Senate floor approval is all that remains, but with time tight on the congressional calendar for the remainder of the year, there's no guarantee that the Jubilee Act will receive a vote. That's why your voice is needed to urge action now.

The word Jubilee in the scriptures refers to periods of time in which God commands the children of Israel to free prisoners, release captives, forgive debts, and allow life to return to the equilibrium God intends for it. Today, Jubilee is something very practical for the health and wholeness of our world, as crippling debt burdens are siphoning money from the poorest countries that should be spending it on the health and critical basic needs of their people. The successful Jubilee 2000 movement – which was endorsed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference – resulted in groundbreaking but limited debt cancellation for some poor countries. It taught us that debt relief works, leading to clean water, childhood vaccinations, school enrollment, and fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria. That's why debt relief is one of the spokes of the MDGs, and why it's so important to begin canceling the debts of countries that have seen no debt relief so far and which need it to meet the MDGs by 2015.

The Jubilee Act begins this vital process. Click here to send a message to your Senators urging them to pass this vital legislation immediately.