Bank to seek capital increase

15 December 1999

It looks likely that the World Bank Group will seek a rare capital increase for its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development arm. It will argue that this is necessary because of the financial crisis, and “new mandates” such as post-conflict reconstruction and anti- corruption work. This process is unlikely to start until 2001, after the US Presidential and Congressional elections. It will provide an excellent opportunity for public debate about the World Bank’s role and impacts.

In the US Congress at the moment a bill is circulating to press the World Bank to take the environment and human rights more seriously. Sponsored by Congressman Chris Cox, bill HR 2969 would require the US government to oppose Bank projects which will have a significant adverse environmental impact, displace many people or break Bank safeguard policies. It would also mandate the three US government departments to file compliance reports.

More information: Sara Zdeb, Friends of the Earth US: szdeb@foe.org.