IFC policies confirmed

15 December 1998

The International Finance Corporation has finalised its rewording of the Bank’s social and environmental policies to fit its clientele and business cycle, and many of the policies are about to be signed off by the Board. There is a massive training programme for IFC staff on these procedures. Companies backed by IFC rated environmental due diligence as the third most important factor for them in getting IFC support.

The Corporation is also trying to develop new areas of business, such as renewable energy, wastewater treatment and private health and education. The amounts of funding are small, however, and a senior IFC manager warned NGOs in Washington “not to expect a wholesale shift in the portfolio”. There are important discussions emerging about how the Corporation’s private health and education work fits with the Bank’s poverty agenda and its new talk about social exclusion.

The IFC has also hired a consultant to examine practical ways that it can account for CO2 emissions in its work. It is not clear whether this paper will be available outside the IFC.

For private health and education strategy information, contact the Project.