Target: World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim
Goal: Stop World Bank from continuing to back the global land rush depriving developing countries of resources
The World Bank is an international financial organization with the official policy of reducing poverty through its loans to developing countries. However, recent reports suggest that the World Bank’s activities have only made circumstances worse for many countries in the ongoing global land rush. Twenty-one formal complaints have been filed against the World Bank by communities who say their land rights were violated through the organization’s investments in the past four years.
According to a report by Oxfam, 60% of these investments by foreign investors took place in countries with large-scale hunger issues. Two-thirds of those investors planned only to export the products obtained from the land out of those developing countries, and 60% of the crop deal were solely for the purpose of biofuel use. Moreover, many investors obtain land and then leave it idle as they wait for an in increase in value. Worst of all, a 2010 study by the bank’s own evaluation body says that 30% of all projects caused involuntary resettlement of indigenous peoples, with 1 million people around the world being forcibly relocated by the bank at any one time.
The report has stated that the land taken over by these international land investors and biofuel producers could have produced enough food to feed one billion people. All of this has culminated in Oxfam’s request to the World Bank that it freeze all investments in large-scale land acquisitions in order to stop the problematic land grabs affecting countless people in need around the globe. Demand that the World Bank, an institution with the alleged claim of caring for developing countries, stop its harmful investments and begin making good on its policies.
Dear Dr. Kim,
A recent study by Oxfam has raised a number of alarming issues regarding the World Bank. Although the institution claims to uphold the official policy of reducing poverty, the 21 complaints filed against your organization point to serious flaws in this mission.
Of the investments made in countries with serious hunger problems between 2000 and 2010, a full two-thirds of those investors exported the products gained away from those countries. Another large portion goes to biofuel use. Even worse, much of the land obtained through investments by your organization sits idly as speculators wait for its value to increase.
All of this poses serious enough issues for developing communities, but perhaps the largest contradiction against the World Bank’s policy is the millions of people who are continuously forced to go through involuntary resettlement as a result of these investments. Please, give these issues the attention they deserve and place a freeze on all investments in large-scale land acquisitions. It is necessary, not only for the continued integrity of the World Bank, but for the good of global communities in need that your policies and investments reflect the goal of improving lives everywhere.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: tweefur via Flickr