The deadline for the Bank's decision to finance the controversial Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric power project in Lao PDR is fast approaching. However, long-term opponents of the project predict that its environmental and social outcomes will be disastrous, and criticize the current consultation process as fundamentally flawed.
Civil society organisations have expressed alarm at the process recently launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - the World Bank Group's private sector lending arm- to overhaul its safeguard policies.
Campaigners worry that community rights will be disregarded by a Guatemalan gold mine backed by the IFC.
The Bank management response to the recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review was released 18 June to widespread criticism.
The World Bank’s president made interesting statements on human rights and climate change. But he was not specific and he asserted brashly that his institution has not harmed indigenous people since he has been in charge.
the World Bank is not serious about the social and environmental policies it trumpets at global conferences. Senior World Bank staff in its India office indicated that they neither know nor care about procedures that are supposed to make its infrastructure lending socially responsible. This represents institutional hypocrisy.
NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo have allied to challenge industrial logging in their country's rainforests. In February they appealed to the World Bank and other agencies to halt a plan which would make up to 60 million hectares of rainforest available to logging companies in the coming years.
The World Bank has recently faced increasing pressure to adopt strong policies on human rights and climate change. NGOs have been joined by parliamentarians, nobel laureates for peace and a group of religious leaders in advocating for the Bank to adopt the recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review.
Human rights activists in Andhra Pradesh have strongly objected to World Bank plans for a new economic reform loan to the state government.
An official review has echoed many external criticisms of the World Bank's knowledge roles, but has buried some of the most important feedback from officials and researchers in the South. A recent study by the World Bank's Operations Evaluation Department found significant problems with the Bank's self-appointed role as guardian and dissseminator of the world's development knowledge, but produced only extremely bureaucratic conclusions which do not match the degree or nature of the concerns expr