An audit of the IFC's investments in financial intermediaries reveals a lack of assessment of environmental and social impacts.
Former deputy secretary general of UNCTAD Carlos Fortin, of the Institute of Development Studies, examines the Bank's record on industrial policy over the last 20 years and shows that the Bank's position is more nuanced.
IFIs are renewing their focus on Central and Eastern European states. This comes amidst fears that growth in the region needs to be rekindled. The World Bank has promised more funding for countries at risk of instability. However, IMF loans being negotiated with Romania and Hungary have met with controversy.
NGOs continue to find that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm, is off track in reducing poverty and promoting development, with concerns that the IFC development goals to be implemented in July will not help the poorest.
Notes of meeting, Spring meetings 2012, Washington DC
In October 2011 international coalition of civil society groups Seattle to Brussels Network held an international week of action against bilateral investment treaties.
Bank-funded private water projects across the world are facing serious problems due to financial, socio-political and operational concerns, but recent trends show that more such projects are coming up in the name of innovative approaches.
The UK House of Commons International Development Committee (IDC) has expressed concerns that “when bidding for infrastructure projects, local contractors often do not stand a chance against international bidders, partly due to rigid rules used by multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the European Union (EU) and the World Bank. ”
Notes of a meeting, Washington DC, 21 September 2011
Over the past year, World Bank chief economist Justin Lin has tried to reopen debate at the Bank over whether developing country governments should adopt active industrial policies, previously taboo at the institution.