A long-suppressed report by the World Bank remains supportive of large-scale land acquisitions in developing countries by foreign investors, despite highlighting significant risks for vulnerable populations. Civil society groups have argued that the Bank is complicit in violations of human rights associated with the so-called ‘land grabs’
The World Bank’s draft framework for investment in the palm oil sector was met with dismay from civil society groups, who said that it failed to offer a credible strategy to address manifold social and environmental problems.
In June the new UK coalition government announced a hasty review of its funding to multilaterals, including the World Bank Group.
The World Bank is currently undertaking a major review of its controversial engagement in palm oil production, but critics warn that consultation has been inadequate and that the Bank seems to have already decided to continue investment in the sector.
A set of voluntary principles for agricultural investment in developing countries, launched by the World Bank and other institutions in April, veils the promotion of investors' interests at the expense of host populations, warn civil society groups.
Notes of a meeting between Rachel Turner of DFID and UK NGOs, April 2010
The US administration is seeking to allocate $1.6 billion to its global agriculture and food security initiative. Of this, $408 million has been earmarked for the global agriculture and food security programme (GAFSP), a new multi-donor trust fund, to be managed by the World Bank.
The Bank’s new multi-billion dollar agriculture trust fund has got off the ground while its recent agriculture strategy signals a renewed attempt to push the controversial policies of the 2008 World Development Report.
'Development' has become synonymous with destruction in Bangladesh as many of the so-called development projects, financed mainly by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), have huge negative impacts on the ground. They have added to the global north's 'ecological debt', which must now be repaid.
A study by NGO Rainforest Action Network of a World Bank-funded oil palm plantation in Papua New Guinea reports violations of Bank performance standards by thrice funding the palm oil plantations of agribusiness giant Cargill with no record of a consultation process.