The impact of the East Asia crisis on private infrastructure projects has been comparatively little discussed.
East Asia & Pacific
On 15 August the Chinese Government arrested three people for trying to investigate the World Bank Western Poverty Project.
Relations between the Bank and the government of Papua New Guinea were strained in July by the government’s decision to issue bonds to raise money from the private sector.
The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), led by its new head Masaru Yoshitomi, has mounted an attack on the IMF’s use of conventional policies for dealing with the crisis in Asia and plans to hold meetings and seminars to challenge the IMF’s approach at the Bank/Fund annual meetings.
The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) has criticised the Bank and Fund for failing to properly supervise the use of loan funds which were intended to help refinance the shattered banking sector.
Massacres perpetrated and condoned by the Indonesian army have led to calls to halt World Bank and IMF aid programmes to Indonesia.
Indonesian NGOs, concerned about the spread of oil palm plantations since the onslaught of the crisis, have formed “Sawat (Oil Palm) Watch”.
The World Bank Group has appointed the first IFC/MIGA Compliance Advisor/Ombudsperson.
The Yayasan Duta Awam Foundation (YDA) has conducted a 15 month grassroots investigation of the Bank-financed Integrated Swamps Development Project.
In early June the World Bank rushed to defend the proposed China Western Poverty Project from charges that it would disrupt the lives of ethnic Tibetans and had undergone too limited environmental scrutiny.
In response to concerns that ruling party Golkar would misuse World Bank funds for election purposes, the Bank and IMF agreed in May to put new loans into a special Bank of Indonesia account.
At the end of February the World Bank and the Government of Korea hosted a conference entitled Democracy, Market Economy and Development.