US water multinational Bechtel Corporation dropped its $50 million legal case in January against the people of Cochabamba for ending its contract to provide water to the citizens of Bolivia’s third-largest city. In April 2000, the company was forced to leave following massive protests against average rate hikes of over fifty per cent. In 2002, the company filed the legal action against Bolivia at the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (see Update 27). NGO The Democracy Center says this sends a message to other corporations that “we will make you defend your actions in the court of world opinion, not behind closed doors where only a handful of lawyers has a voice”.
Originally created to help the poor escape poverty and deprivation, the World Bank became the most important advocate for the commercialised microcredit model. Yet, critics argued it undermined the chances of sustainable and equitable development to create a poverty trap of historic proportions.
While the World Development Report (WDR) 2018 on education has some redeeming features, it is part of the Bank's longstanding very narrow view of education, and is silent on education financing.
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