World Bank still failing take basic steps to protect displaced communities
In reaction to the report on forced resettlement released today by the Inspection Panel, the World Bank's internal accountability board, Kate Geary, Oxfam’s land rights expert said:
“Why, after 72 years, is the Bank still struggling to 'learn lessons' about how resettle people? The Bank’s own experts agree that resettlement - driving people from their homes, lands and livelihoods - is one of the most painful and traumatic things people can suffer.
“Yet in the Inspection Panel's findings, the Bank is still repeatedly failing to take the most basic steps needed to avoid harm. Steps like counting how many people are affected, or making information available in local languages are still neglected.”
During the event launching the report, resettlement expert Michael Cernea reminded participants that the World Bank’s Board of Directors was presented with the same lessons 22 years ago.
Geary said: “When is the Bank going to learn? The Inspection Panel says mere cash compensation is never enough. It’s clear, then, that the Bank's safeguard policies must go beyond that and ensure all affected communities have their full livelihoods restored in a sustainable way.
“Until the Bank can guarantee resettled communities will be treated with compassion, justice and fairness, can we really believe it is serious about learning lessons?”
Oxfam experts on a range of issues including tax, gender inequality, and land and environmental safeguards, will be available for interview and briefings throughout the Spring Meetings.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International will be in Washington and available for interviews.
Simon Hernandez-Arthur in Washington, D.C.
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