The World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), announced in June that it will invest $124 million in Nigerian property development group Persianas, calling it a “high growth” sector, in order to construct at least four shopping malls in Nigeria. Project impacts expected by the IFC include the “improvement of food security”, as a result of the “rollout of modern food retailing as [a] planned anchor for every development”. Soren Ambrose of ActionAid International called this “laughable”: “a shopping mall will become an additional choice for the urban middle class. Supporting food security would require credit and other assistance for the small farmers, mostly women, who feed most Nigerians.”
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.
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