Allegations of corruption made against Bank-backed projects in Lesotho, Uganda and Kenya have raised questions about the Bank’s recent anti-corruption crusade. A report from Mozambique complains that the Bank is rewarding “good performance” by allowing corruption.
Despite corporate scandals and increasing wariness of private investors of getting involved in power projects in developing countries, the Bank is tripling its funding of power projects. Two new reports from the Transnational Insitute and the World Resources Institute challenge the claims of the advocates of power liberalisation.
Despite threats to the environment and fears of over-dependence on oil market vagaries, BP may receive as much as $500 million from the World Bank to build an 1,100 mile trans-Caucasus pipeline.
The World Bank finally released a draft World Development Report on sustainable development at the beginning of April. Commentators gave the report a mixed reception. While some praised its recognition of the political and social context of sustainability, critics charged that the Report is far behind current thinking on climate change and fails to adequately address the role of rich countries in fostering sustainable development.
The Evian Group held its annual meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, last month inviting a select group of business executives, policy makers, academics and opinion makers.
A report released by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) claims the World Bank provided over $750 million in assistance to Enron power projects in seven different countries in the 1990s.
U.S. power company AES Corp. has been forced to delay building the $550 million Bujagali dam, Uganda, because of a financing shortfall.
US multinational Bechtel is seeking compensation from the Bolivian government after protests forced the cancellation of its contract to provide water in Cochabamba. The case has been accepted by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, a little-known arm of the World Bank Group. Campaigners are preparing to challenge the process.
The World Bank has recently announced that it will not be taking action following allegations of corruption levelled at corporate clients in Peru and Lesotho. The Peru goldmine and Lesotho dam cases lead some Bank-watchers to question the Bank’s high-profile commitment to rooting out corruption.
A broad coalition of organisations is challenging the plan to privatise Ghana’s water system. They complain that the World Bank and IMF-promoted scheme will not extend services to poorer people or ensure fair pricing. The deal - which the IMF has just made part of its new conditions for Ghana - reflects the biases of the consultants which drew it up at a cost of $3million.