World Bank moves on ‘land grabs’

26 June 2013

In April World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said that the Bank shares the concerns “about the risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions” and that “additional efforts must be made to build capacity and safeguards related to land rights” (see Update 83). International NGO Oxfam welcomed the announcement, but expressed disappointment that the Bank “hasn’t agreed to freeze its large-scale agricultural investments until it puts these new measures in place.”

Former residents of Boeung Kak in Cambodia, evicted after a Bank financed land titling programme wrongly denied them the right to register their land ownership (see Update 81, 75), wrote to Kim in early May, claiming that they are “still waiting” for the Bank support agreed in a 2009 case to the Bank’s accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel. They urged that the Bank should not re-engage in Cambodia until remedial action has been fully secured.