Sunday, March 10, 2013

The World Bank’s private sector financing arm doesn’t know the environmental and social impacts of nearly half its portfolio

Campaigners are calling for a fundamental overhaul of World Bank lending to financial markets actors, following the publication of an Ombudsman audit.

The World Bank’s Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO) released an audit earlier this week (5) showing that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) “knows very little” about the environmental or social impacts of its financial market lending. The IFC is the World Bank’s private sector lending arm with a stated objective to ensure that any financing does not result in harm to communities and the environment.

This financial market lending is more than 40% of the IFC portfolio, valued at almost $20 billion. The CAO audit finds that for this growing part of the portfolio, the IFC conducts “no assessment of whether the [environmental and social] requirements are successful in doing no harm.”

See full Press Release: