World Bank

Villain: World Bank

Plot: The Global lender that finances large projects to help the economic growth typically for developing countries. The conditions for this financing is that governments that do receive the funding must comply to a set of “safeguard” policies outlined by the bank[1]. These “safeguard” polices are supposed to bring a more humane and democratic system of economic development. For instance governments that receive funding from the bank cannot evict people from their homes without warning. If people are evicted from their homes they must be resettled and their livelihoods restored[2].


According to the Huffington Post the World Bank has abused its powers in the following ways[3]

  • Over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an         estimated 3.4 million people, forcing them from their homes, taking their land or damaging their livelihoods.
  • The World Bank has regularly failed to live up to its own policies for protecting people harmed by projects it finances.
  • The World Bank and its private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corp., have financed governments and companies accused of human rights violations such as rape, murder and torture. In some cases the lenders have continued to bankroll these borrowers after evidence of abuses emerged.
  •  Ethiopian authorities diverted millions of dollars from a World Bank-supported project to fund a violent campaign of mass evictions, according to former officials who carried out the forced resettlement program.
  • From 2009 to 2013, World Bank Group lenders pumped $50 billion into projects graded the highest risk for “irreversible or unprecedented” social or environmental impacts — more than twice as much as the previous five-year span.


One example of the abuses that resulted from a World Bank funded project is the actions from an infrastructure sponsored project in Badia East- Nigeria. The informal settlement of Badia East in Lagos state was chosen to receive increased access to basic services such as drainage, through the investment of infrastructure. However 266 structures that served as homes or business’ were bulldozed on the 23 of February 2013- and have not been adequately compensated by the government for such losses. Furthermore the demolition occurred without genuine consultation or adequate notice and without any plan for compensation. The Lagos state government along with the World Bank agreed to develop and implement a retrospective Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the residents in line with the World Bank’s Policy on Involuntary Resettlement- however this was only done after increased pressure from the public. The RAP and the process by which it was prepared defied international human rights standards and World Bank policy[4]. The RAP did not: provide options for adequate alternative housing or relocation to other sites; ensure that affected people were offered the support needed to restore their livelihoods and standard of living; ensure adequate compensation was given to those affected. Rather the government unilaterally determined the amount of “financial assistance” the victims were to receive- which was considered inadequate by the majority affected. Furthermore the Lagos state government turned back on an agreement reached between a committee it had established and community representatives on compensation[5].



Original image from
Original image from



[1] How the World Bank Broke its Promise to Protect the Poor, Huffington Post April 16th, 2015
[2] World Bank Website. Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies, Accessed May 12 2015 < >
[3] How the World Bank Broke its Promise to Protect the Poor, Huffington Post April 16th, 2015
[4] How the World Bank Broke its Promise to Protect the Poor, Huffington Post April 16th, 2015
[5]  Amnesty International: “Nigeria: Destitute victims of forced eviction must be adequately compensated” 19 August 2014, 00:00 UTC



Posted: May 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on World Bank

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