In October the Bank’s board approved a $45 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), for the controversial Allain Duhangan hydropower project in the Indian Himalayas. Local people and Indian NGOs had called for the project to be delayed until numerous grievances were resolved. There are fears that the dam will divert essential water resources from drinking and farming. Villagers filed a formal complaint with the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) in September. Two days prior to loan approval, the CAO decided that the villagers’ complaint warranted an independent assessment of the project. Opponents fear that now the loan is approved, the CAO’s recommendations will be ignored by project officials.
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Last year BRICS' leaders agreed to launch a BRICS development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the World Bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).