European Investment Bank Fails Africa and Laos

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This report, commissioned by CEE Bankwatch Network and written by International Rivers, details how large dams financed by the EIB have damaged communities and the environment and failed to bring promised development benefits.

"Raising the bar on big dams: Making the case for dam policy reform at the European Investment Bank" provides case studies of six controversial dam projects with EIB financial involvement - five in Africa, and one, Nam Theun 2, in Laos. The report highlights the EIB's lack of policies that would prevent it from funding destructive dams, and recommends better analysis up-front of options to meet energy and water needs, a key tenet of the World Commission on Dams.

Lori Pottinger, Africa Campaigns Director for International Rivers, said: "The EIB has invested more than EUR 400 million in projects that have had huge costs for poor countries ill-equipped to respond to the problems they cause. EIB-supported dams have pushed species to extinction, impoverished people forced out by their huge reservoirs, permanently damaged critical natural systems that support millions of people, and led to huge debt burdens. The EIB is now investing or considering investing millions more in future dams that are likely to repeat this sorry history."

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Press Release: Rivers for Life, Thailand