Land

News

World Bank policies "enabling" African land grab

14 September 2011

New research claims World Bank Group's policies facilitate land grabs in Africa and favour the interests of financial markets over food security and environmental protection.

Social services

Commentary

IFC helping Western multinationals exploit Ghana's water crisis

The water supply crisis in Ghana is being exploited by all manner of pro-market corporate bodies ranging from the World Bank to Coca-Cola. While the World Bank is licking its wounds from failed private water management initiatives, such as the Aqua Vitens Rand Limited management contract in Ghana, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), its private sector arm, is investing in small-scale private water ventures via WaterHeath International (WHI).

13 September 2011 | Comment

Social services

News

Bondholders vs the public: Outcry over IMF-EU eurozone loans

The sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone, where Greece now needs a second round of loans, threatens major economies like Spain and Italy, but IMF-backed lending packages that demand deep austerity with insufficient attention to lenders' responsibilities anger the public.

13 September 2011

Accountability

Commentary

Navigating complex dilemmas

The World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development is shifting the language of international policy on supporting peace and development in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Monica Stephen of International Alert examines how the World Bank's operations need to adjust to support peace and development.

16 September 2011 | At Issue

IFI governance

Background

China and the World Bank

China joined the World Bank in April 1980, and since then has been one of its largest borrowers and recipients of technical assistance. In recent years, China has gone beyond the only role of recipient country and has increased its influence on the Bank.

14 September 2011 | Inside the institutions

Rights

News

IFC updated performance standards

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank's private sector arm, has concluded a two-year review of its performance standards on environmental and social sustainability, but its weak human rights approach has angered rights organisations.

14 September 2011

IFI governance

News

Programmed for Results?

In August, the Bank released a policy paper and draft operational policy for its controversial new Program For Results (P4R) lending instrument, aiming to rush through its approval by the end of the year, despite significant concerns.

14 September 2011

IFI governance

News

Scandals threaten IFI governance

With the new IMF head and a Bank’s managing director under judicial investigation, questions continue to be asked about IFI governance, while implementation of existing reforms remains slow.

14 September 2011

Conditionality

News

Evaluations suggest IMF, World Bank research ideologically driven

A report by the IMF’s arms-length evaluation body, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), suggests that Fund research does not allow room for alternative perspectives, while academics attack the World Bank for pursuing ideologically driven research agendas.

14 September 2011

IFI governance

News

IFC weakens World Bank's transparency commitment

The new access to information policy at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm, has been criticised for being weaker than its public sector counterpart, and for allowing sweeping exceptions.

14 September 2011

Finance

News

IEG slams World Bank trust funds

IEG report slams Bank trust funds for contributing to ineffective aid.

14 September 2011

Finance

News

Forty years is enough?

On the 40th anniversary of US default on its gold convertibility obligation, decreasing confidence in the dollar has strengthened calls to reform the international monetary system. The IMF is accused of ignoring inequities at the core of the system, while developing countries are increasingly seeking alternative regional arrangements.

14 September 2011

IFI governance

News

IEG annual report slates World Bank's education work

The Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released its annual report at end August, again finding shortfalls and uneven results across the World Bank Group. While the Bank's leadership has steered the institution towards more private sector work, outcomes in the education sector and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have dropped substantially.

13 September 2011

Environment

News

Donor governments join critical chorus on the CIFs

The Bank-housed Climate Investments Funds (CIFs) are facing increasing criticism from donor governments and civil society groups, while concerns that the Bank's role in the new Green Climate Fund (GCF) constitutes a conflict of interest continue.

13 September 2011

Land

News

World Bank deaf on food speculation, vocal on financial instruments

As agricultural market continue to experience increasing volatility, and record food prices intensify global hunger and poverty, the World Bank's approach to the crisis, which emphasises the use of commodities markets and corporate agriculture, is found wanting by groups demanding food sovereignty and food security.

13 September 2011

Land

News

World Bank won't give up on carbon markets

As the Bank's own report declares the carbon market is failing, the Bank is still pushing forward carbon finance initiatives.

13 September 2011

IFI governance

News

Big infrastructure, small participation

The World Bank, in conjunction with the G20, is prioritising massive, cross-border infrastructure with private sector involvement, but has failed to involve any local communities.

13 September 2011

Environment

News

World Bank pushing dirty coal and massive hydro

The Bank's energy projects in Kosovo and India are being lambasted by critics for threatening livelihoods and the environment.

13 September 2011

Conditionality

News

IMF advice accused of risking new recession

Since the financial crisis, the IMF's rhetoric has tried to be nuanced about austerity policies and the need to stimulate growth, but critics says its actions risk pushing the world back into recession and hurting workers.

13 September 2011