Dear Dr. Kim,

We write in response to the World Bank’s Involuntary Resettlement Portfolio Review, and the Action Plan intended to address the findings of the Review, both released last month. As you have recognized, the findings of the Portfolio Review are deeply troubling. They reveal fundamental failures in the Bank’s safeguards system and are a matter of urgent public concern.

While it is important that the review of Bank-financed projects was undertaken and finally published, the lack of transparency demonstrated by the Bank in concealing the Review's findings - for three years in the case of part one and nine months in the case of part two - is unacceptable for a public institution. We are particularly disappointed that the Bank withheld the documents until after the consultation on the Bank’s proposed Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) had closed, given the importance of the findings to the review of the Bank’s safeguards.

While we welcome some of the provisions of the Action Plan such as increased budget and staff training, we do not believe that the Action Plan put forward by the Bank will be effective at addressing the numerous and serious failings of the safeguards system surfaced by the portfolio review:

  • The Action Plan is not commensurate with the extent of systematic failure by Bank staff and Borrowers to comply with existing policy, procedures and contractual loan obligations on involuntary resettlement.
  • Its reliance on the proposed ESF to solve the deep-seated structural flaws identified is misguided. The findings underscore many of the fundamental shortcomings of the proposed ESF highlighted by our organizations, including the lack of detail on required baseline data and socio-economic surveys and the over-reliance on borrower reports, among other weaknesses in the due diligence, monitoring and evaluation requirements on the Bank.
  • It does not sufficiently incorporate measures to ensure accountability for achieving resettlement outcomes in line with the objectives of the Bank’s resettlement policy.

Finally, we are extremely concerned that the Action Plan does not set out to identify and provide redress to the individuals and communities that have been displaced by World Bank project teams without ensuring their reconstruction and rehabilitation. Under Bank policy and loan agreements, each of these individuals was, and remains, entitled to a set of protections and support to ensure, at a minimum, that they are not made worse off by the Bank project. Many of these people may well have been impoverished.

We urge the World Bank to respond to this institutional failure, and to bring itself into compliance with its mission and its operational policies and procedures, by identifying the people who have been displaced by Bank-financed projects and providing them with genuine sustainable development opportunities through a series of new grant-funded projects.

We urge you to consult with civil society and external experts on the Action Plan, including by convening an appropriate forum at which the authors of the Review present the findings and external stakeholders have an opportunity to discuss the implications and the necessary components of an effective, time-bound action plan, including the appropriateness of measures already committed to by the Bank. Implications of the Review’s findings for the second draft of the proposed ESF will be a pivotal part of the discussion.

We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue with you further. 

 Yours sincerely,

Nicolas Mombrial

Oxfam International

Global

Jessica Evans

Human Rights Watch

Global

Theodore E Downing

The International Network on Displacement and Resettlement

Global

Joan Carling

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Thailand

Chad Dobson

Bank Information Center

USA

David Pred

Inclusive Development International

USA

Jaybee Garganera

Alyansa Tigil Mina (Alliance Against Mining)

Philippines

Fiu Mataese ELISARA

Ole Siosiomaga Society Incorporated (OLSSI)

Samoa

Barbara Rose Johnston, PhD

Center for Political Ecology

United States

Graeme Brown

Southeast Asia Development Program

Cambodia

Arimbi heroepoetri

DebtWatch Indonesia

Indonesia

Andrew Whitmore

Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)

United Kingdom

Dr Joshua Curtis

Irish Centre for Human Rights

Ireland

Sarom EE

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

Cambodia

Luiz Vieira

Bretton Woods Project

United Kingdom

Korinna Horta, Ph.D.

Urgewald

Germany

Okereke Chinwike

Africa Law Foundation (AFRILAW))

NIGERIA

Inês Martins

La'o Hamutuk

Timor-Leste

Aly Sagne

Lumiere Synergie Developpement

Senegal

Vanessa Torres

Asociacion Ambiente y Sociedad

Colombia

Peter Bosshard

International Rivers

USA

Keith Roberts

Mayflower Church Global Justice Team

USA

Helen Tugendhat

Forest Peoples Programme

UK

Nelson Nnanna Nwafor

Foundation For Environmental Rights,Advocacy & Development FENRAD

Nigeria

Mariana González Armijo

Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación

Mexico

Roger Moody

Nostromo Research

England

Bret Thiele

Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

USA

Javiera Valencia

Fundación Terram

Chile

Claire McNeil

ESCR Net

Canada

Pieter Jansen

Both ENDS

Netherlands

Juan Martín Carballo

FUNDEPS - Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies

Argentina

Natalie Fields

Accountability Counsel

USA

Mark Cubit

Planet Wheeler Foundation

Australia

Samin NGACH (Mr)

Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA)

Cambodia

Nurul Alam Masud

Participatory Research Action Network- PRAN

Bangladesh

Tessa Khan

Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development

Asia Pacific

Sudha Reddy

Eco Foundation for Sustainable Alternatives (EFSA)

India

Andrés Nápoli

FARN

Argentina

Hozue Hatae

Friends of the Earth Japan

Japan

Joseph Schechla

Housing and Land Rights Network - Habitat International Coalition

Egypt

Pol Vandevoort

11.11.11 - Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement

Belgium

Astrid Puentes

Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)

Regional

Michael Nanz

FIAN Switzerland for the Right to Adequate Food

Switzerland

Drillisch, Heike

GegenStroemung - CounterCurrent

Germany

Rohr, Johannes

INFOE - Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology

Germany

Saviour AKPAN Esq.

Community Policing Partners for Justice, Security and Democratic Reforms

Nigeria

Shalmali Guttal

Focus on the Global South

Thailand

Urantsooj Gombosuren

Centre for Human Rights and Development

Mongolia

Thilak Kariyawasam

Sri Lanka Nature Group

Sri Lanka

Megan Chapman

Justice & Empowerment Initiatives - Nigeria

Nigeria

Maurice Ouma Odhiambo

Jamaa Resource Initiatives

Kenya

Kate Watters

Crude Accountability

USA

Elaine Zuckerman

Gender Action

USA

Shulamith Koenig

PDHRE, People's Movement for Human Rights Learning

USA

Derek MacCuish

Social Justice Connection

Canada

Karen Orenstein

Friends of the Earth US

United States

Marco Simons

EarthRights International

USA-Peru-Thailand-Myanmar

Catherine Coumans

MiningWatch Canada

Canada

Eang Vuthy

Equitable Cambodia

Cambodia

Souparna Lahiri

India Forum of Forest Movements (AFFM)

India

Annie Bird

Rights and Ecology

USA

Stephanie Fried

Ulu Foundation

USA

Manolinh

LLG

Laos

Johan Frijns, Director

BankTrack

Netherlands

Jocelyn Medallo

Center for International Environmental Law

USA

Sor.Rattanamanee Polkla

Community Resource Centre

Thailand

Dang Dinh Bach

The Law and Policy of Sustainable Development Research Center

Vietnam

Jocelyn Medallo

Center for International Environmental Law

USA

Sor.Rattanamanee Polkla

Community Resource Centre

Thailand

Toshiyuki Doi

Mekong Watch

Japan

Raquel Rolnik

Former UN Special Rapportuer for Adequate Housing

Brazil

Judith Blau

 

USA

Andrea Rocca

 

Italy

Rebecca Shadwick

 

UK

Denise Bell

 

USA

Jessica Lyon

 

Canada

Jonathan Fox

 

USA

Erik Schnabel

 

USA

Dr Tom Griffiths

 

UK

Bastiaan Kluft

 

Senegal

Susan Randolph

 

United States

Carmen Márquez-Carrasco

 

Spain

Blen Hailu

 

Ethiopia

Joanne Bauer

 

USA

Fahd Reyaz

 

United States