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Environment safeguards bypassed in Poland

27 July 2004

A group of NGOs has sent a letter in May to the World Bank’s country director for Poland asking for a halt to Bank support for a highway modernisation project. After long negotiations with government agencies, the NGOs had won assurances that the EU financing decision for the project would await completion of a strategic environment assessment. NGOs want Bank financing to await the outcome of the same assessment. The highway widening is part of a larger project which NGOs say will seriously impact wildlife and create pollution problems for several national parks. The Bank has not responded to the call for a meeting.