World Bank 'has aided land grabs'
The World Bank has been accused of facilitating land grabs in some of the world's poorest countries after a raft of formal complaints from communities affected by projects it has financed.
Oxfam said that 21 complaints from countries such as Uganda, Chad, Cambodia and Panama have been made to the bank's ombudsman in the past four years.
The communities allege that the World Bank-backed projects violated their land rights, typically by failing to secure their consent and often dispossessing them of their land and livelihoods in the process.
The World Bank's official role is to reduce poverty, which puts it at the centre of the developing world's farming industry. It lends $8bn (£5bn) a year to agricultural projects overseen by companies, countries and investment funds. However, Oxfam argues that, far from helping farmers, the World Bank frequently exacerbates the problem by helping to finance investments that amount to land grabs and often involve violence.
"The rush for land is out of control and some of the world's poorest people are suffering hunger, violence and greater poverty as a result," said the charity's chief executive Barbara Stocking.
The developing world – and Africa in particular – typically gets hit the hardest because property laws are weak or non-existent. In many cases, although families may have farmed a plot for generations, they often have no legal title, making it relatively easy for governments to sell the land, Oxfam says.
A World Bank spokesman disputed the need for a moratorium on lendings and said the group does "not accept the inference that the World Bank Group is facilitating or overtly supporting negative practices associated with large-scale land acquisitions".
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...
£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...