The World Bank is failing to enforce the rules it sets for the protection of people in the countries where it lends money, resulting in a "trail of misery" around the globe, according to a series published Thursday in the Huffington Post.
World Bank money has been tied to evictions and human rights abuses in developing countries, mostly affecting poor people. In failing to protect the people in the way of the development projects the bank supports, it is violating its own rules and its maxim of "do no harm," the report says.
Humans rights activists claim a Kenyan forest conservation project using World Bank money provides cover to an effort to chase villagers out of their ancestral homes. World Bank funds allegedly have been used in mass evictions in Ethiopia, and to finance a Peruvian gold mine emitting pollutants that locals say are killing their sheep. People affected by the project also have suffered violence and intimidation, according to the article.
A World Bank spokesperson told CNBC that the organization released a plan last month to improve its oversight and management of resettlement practices "to ensure better protection of people and businesses affected by Bank-funded projects."
The spokesperson noted that resettlement is often difficult, regardless of where it happens, which is "every country in the world." The bank sees resettlements increasing in number as more infrastructure is built.
"We must and will do better," the spokesperson said.