The World Bank has revealed that the planned period for updating its environment and social safeguard policies, which it aims to consolidate into one single policy, has been extended to December 2013 (see Update 77). However, 130 organisations, including Asia Indigenous People’s Pact wrote a letter to the Bank in October calling for the indigenous peoples’ policy to remain a stand-alone policy that respects the concept of “free, prior, informed consent”. NGOs are also concerned that a new lending instrument, Program-for-Results, is to be exempt from safeguards (see Update 79). Consultations on the safeguards review are anticipated at the end of 2012.
World Bank & IMF in the news
EarthRights International examines how the Jam v. IFC case has helped to shift the landscape of accountability for international financial institutions by successfully challenging their claim to “absolute” immunity in US courts, potentially opening IFC up to further legal challenges in future.