Following NGO scrutiny of the World Bank’s plans to support the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline scheme (see Bretton Woods Update April-June 1997) the Bank appears to be reconsidering its use of IDA (soft loan) money for the project. The Bank is instead considering enclave project structures and a possible use of IBRD guarantees.
NGOs and some Bank Executive Directors had raised concerns that IDA money can be used in better ways than co-investing in a hard currency earning project which involves Shell and Exxon oil companies.
The Board’s decision on whether to reopen formal discussions about changing the financial mechanisms for the project will be known in mid-February. The conclusions of a January seminar in Chad of NGOs, the Bank government and company officials will soon be available.
Contact: Annick Jeantet, Agir Ici, 14 Passage Dubail, 75010 Paris, France, email@example.com.