A major new Bank study claims that ethnic tensions and political feuds are rarely the primary causes of civil wars. Economic forces such as entrenched poverty and heavy dependence on natural resource exports are instead to blame. The report urges improved transparency of natural resource revenues, tracking of commodities and ways to cushion the impacts of commodity price collapses. Joe Hanlon, author of Peace Versus Profit, How the IMF Blocks Peace-Building in Mozambique, commented: “The report implicitly admits that policies of the IFIs in the past probably fuelled civil wars – will the World Bank actually change its policies in response?”
Six new countries were invited to join the Forest Investment Program (FIP), with a further nine invited to develop investment plans, despite insufficient funds. Potential support for oil palm plantations in Democratic Republic of Congo and industrial logging in Indonesia and Peru were questioned.
Concerns have been raised about the slow progress with the Scaling up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP). Ghana, Haiti and Nicaragua's investment plans were approved, with questions asked about the loan/grant ratio, promotion of PPPs, and reliance on funding from the Green Climate Fund.
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