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World Bank proposal slated

Tuesday 21 September 2004

moneyProposed changes to the World Bank’s private sector lending policies, revealed last week, have been criticised by environmental and human rights groups. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) aims to abandon its Safeguards Policies, which cover issues such as pollution and treatment of local communities, in favour of performance-based standards.

Any change to the regulations could have a knock-on effect with other financiers, as the IFC’s standards are being increasingly adopted by numerous commercial banks, notably the ‘Equator Priniciples’ group.

Friends of the Earth's Hannah Ellis said; "These flawed proposals seriously undermine the World Bank's duty to protect the environment and affected communities. It must ensure that any money it lends to private sector projects meets internationally recognized standards. These new plans will weaken already inadequate safeguards and must be abandoned."

Tim Peat from NGO War on Want added; “As a public institution with poverty alleviation and sustainable development at its core mandate, the private sector should not receive special treatment."

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