Amidst new complaints on the failure of the investments of the IFC’s financial sector clients to meet the IFC performance standards, including a controversial dam in Honduras, civil society organisations have rejected the IFC’s proposed action plan as unacceptable.
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".
Ethiopia has said that it will not cooperate in a proposed investigation by the World Bank's accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel (IP), into a programme linked to the Bank that according to the indigenous peoples filing the complaint led to "forced villagisation".
While the World Bank's leadership is further embracing private equity funds, the IFC's investment in financial intermediaries is again hitting the headlines over allegations of 'land grabs' in South East Asia and lack of respect for indigenous people's rights in Honduras.
The World Bank, in conjunction with the G20, is reinvigorating its infrastructure focus, paying particular attention to leveraging resources from the private sector and investing in fragile and conflict affected states. It announced a return to big hydropower projects, despite continued concerns about projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala and Uganda.
In late February the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) boards decided to spearhead a $4 billion dollar syndicated loan to a copper, gold and silver mine located in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. An increasing number of people believe that it is going to lead Mongolia to dependence on one product and one corporation, driving the country into deep insecurity.
The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) are financing instruments designed to pilot low-carbon and climate-resilient development through the multilateral development banks (MDBs). They are comprised of two trust funds - the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF).
The World Bank board's Committee on Development Effectiveness responded in early February to a December evaluation of its forest strategy by the Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), by accepting some recommendations but "disagree[ing] with the IEG's recommendation regarding timber concession reform in tropical moist forest countries."
As the consultations on the World Bank's safeguards review progress, indigenous peoples groups and NGOs raised concerns over the process. There were also increased calls for the Bank to respect human rights in its policies, including a report from a UN Special Rapporteur.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank's private sector arm) loan to Honduran palm oil producer Corporaci