The World Bank’s Conflicted Corruption Fight

Monday, May 1, 2006
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has called corruption the single most important obstacle to development and has ratcheted up the fight against graft in Bank projects. While this effort is welcome, it is being undermined by the bank’s simultaneous increase in infrastructure lending. The experience of Pakistan’s water sector shows that the bank’s self–interests facilitate rather than discourage corruption in infrastructure development. Unless the World Bank addresses upstream the corruption incentives that drive infrastructure decisions, the poor will continue to be deprived of acce

World Bank Investigation Confirms Serious Problems at Yacyretá Dam

Monday, May 10, 2004
(São Paulo) Following an 18–month investigation of the troubled Yacyretá dam on the Paraguay–Argentina border, the World Bank’s Inspection Panel has concluded that the project violates four separate World Bank policies on 14 different counts. The policies cover environmental assessment, involuntary resettlement, and project supervision, monitoring and evaluation. This is the Inspection Panel’s second critical review of the Bank’s failure to comply with its own policies on Yacyretá, which received World Bank loans totaling $878 million between 1979 and 2002. T

Lesotho Water Project Corruption

Mural in Uganda
Corruption is a widespread problem in the world of large dams. Massive corruption was discovered on the LHWP in 1999, when more than 12 multinational firms and consortiums were found to have bribed the CEO of the project. After the CEO himself was found guilty, three major European firms were put in the dock; thus far, two have been found guilty and charged, and one has been debarred at the World Bank.

Grand Inga - A Dam for Prestige, Not Poverty Reduction in Dem. Republic of Congo

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Cameroon -- "Access to affordable and clean electricity for the millions of Africans who today have none" is a fitting goal for the World Energy Council (WEC)’s energy planning in Africa.1 But their answer, the $50 billion USD Grand Inga hydropower scheme, is not the panacea project that the WEC would like it to be. The WEC is preparing to convene an International Forum on the Grand Inga Project "How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa" which will take place in Gaborone, Botswana, 16-17 March 2007. "Grand Inga is not meant to benefit Africa’s poor," said Terri Hatha

Yacyretá Dam

Home affected by flooding from Yacyretá
Yacyretá Dam on the Paraná River has been under construction since 1979. A battle has raged to increase the height of the reservoir, thus putting 80,000 people in danger of being flooded out. Investigations by the World Bank and Inter–American Development Bank have shown that authorities of the bi–national company EBY are unable to handle the devastating social dislocation that raising the reservoir would cause. Yacyretá is a textbook study in corruption, inefficiency, poor planning, and lack of respect for human rights and the environment. The project involves two governments and the W

World Bank Response to Corruption Articles

Friday, June 2, 2006
Dear Peter, Thank you (and Shannon) for your email and your article, which you also sent to other Bank colleagues who are on the International Rivers distribution lists (some of whom I am copying), and Mr. Wolfowitz. Since we last met, my role has shifted and I now divide my time as senior water advisor equally between Africa and South Asia. I (and other colleagues as appropriate) would be happy to discuss your views on the water sector in Pakistan, and any suggestions that you may have for ways in which we could help Pakistan more effectively. There are multiple views within and outside


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