Minutes of a seminar at the 2010 annual meetings, 8 October 2010
Notes of a meeting between UK civil society and DFID staff.
Ongoing mining projects’ impacts on rights, gender and the environment suggest a new approach to the sector is needed, as the IMF and World Bank dole out contradictory advice on mining revenues.
Energy policy at the World Bank remains controversial, with escalating lending to coal projects and a delay to the energy strategy review. Past Bank-financed energy projects in Ghana and Albania are also proving problematic.
New evidence of worsening gender performance and persistent conditionality has led critics to ask if the Bank is fit for purpose.
The World Bank, Business Unity South Africa and the African National Congress got their way with a major loan for Eskom, the national power authority, despite broad based opposition from local people, the poor, community organisations, the churches, unions, and environmental and social justice NGOs locally and globally.
A spate of human rights violations and environmental abuses by mining ventures backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, is raising alarm over the inadequacy of its social and environmental standards.
A spat between the US administration and some middle and low income shareholders highlights political tensions carried over from Copenhagen climate talks. And while the Bank showcases its 'clean' energy investments, projects in the pipeline for 2010 look set to continue large-scale investment in fossil fuels.
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.
As the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, announces plans to increase investment in agribusiness by up to 30 per cent in the next three years, NGO reports shed light on the IFC's role in 'land grabs' and flaws in its approach to the food crisis.