WASHINGTON: The World Bank said Wednesday it would reform the way it handles the resettlement of people moved to make way for development projects, saying internal reviews have revealed significant flaws.
“We took a hard look at ourselves on resettlement and what we found caused me deep concern,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in a statement.
The global development lender has been sharply criticised by nongovernmental organisations like Oxfam, Amnesty International and Greenpeace, for failures to protect human rights and the environment.
Kim said the major problems uncovered were inadequate oversight of projects involving resettlement, weak implementation of the plans and the lack of strong tracking systems to ensure Bank policies were being followed. “We must and will do better,” he said.
Three reports, which reviewed World Bank projects involving resettlement over two decades, found there was often poor or no documentation of the projects.
The Bank gave no details of the flawed projects, but part of the review documentation pointed to an urban transport project in Mumbai, a gas pipeline project in western Africa and a coastal project in Albania.
Resettlement projects typically result in the loss of homes, livelihoods and businesses, and potentially lowering the standard of living of the displaced persons.