World Bank told to stop lending to land grabbers

14 July 2011 by GRAIN


Civil society organisations* from Latin America, Europe and around the world have issued an open letter calling on the World Bank World Bank
WB
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

’s International Finance Corporation to reject a proposal to finance Calyx Agro, a company that acquires farmland in Latin America on behalf of wealthy foreign investors. Calyx Agro is a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus, one of the world’s biggest commodity traders. The World Bank is considering a loan of up US$30 million to help Calyx Agro expand its operations in Latin America.

The letter also denounces the Bank for its on-going support to other leading investors involved in land grabbing around the world.

The complete letter is available in English http://farmlandgrab.org/uploads/attachment/Open%20Letter%20to%20CEO%20ThunellPER%20STAMPA.pdf .



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