U.S. pushes for outside oversight of World Bank, opposes push toward ‘big hydro’

Photo retrieved from: www.washingtonpost.com

“The United States is demanding stricter oversight of World Bank projects amid concern that the bank has slipped in how closely it guards against violence, forced resettlement and other conflict associated with the works that it funds.

In a blow to plans set by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the United States recently approved an appropriations bill that orders the bank’s U.S. board member to vote against any major hydroelectric project — a type of development that has been a source of local land conflicts and controversies through­out the bank’s history. The measure also demands that the organization undertake “independent outside evaluations” of all of its lending.

The demand coincides with a spate of disputes between the World Bank, civil society groups and the United States over past bank-funded projects that have been linked to killings of villagers and forcing people from their land. The cases include still-unpaid reparations from a Guatemala dam project from the 1970s in which hundreds of villagers were killed, concern about forced relocations in Ethiopia, and funding for a palm oil and food company whose operations in Honduras in recent years were the scenes of deadly fighting between workers and security guards.”

Read more: The Washington Post

 

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