Category: World Bank (Foreign Aid)

The dying days of the Pygmy people

(October 1, 2012) This article on the crisis facing Pygmy tribes in the Congolese rainforest by anthropologist Geoffrey Clarfield underscores the crucial relationship between property rights and human rights. For the last decade, competing militias have terrorized the Pygmies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while in the Central African Republic (CAR) they face losing much of their traditional hunting areas to logging. The government, the World Bank, the EU, the Chinese and most of the large development organizations believe that the CAR can only “develop” its economy by cutting down its rainforest and selling the timber. Without recognized property rights, Pygmies are being forced from their forest homes, dispossessed of the lands they have stewarded and lived in for 40,000 years.

Grand Inga Dam: Another white elephant for the DR Congo

(November 21, 2011) An article in the Daily Maverick argues that the proposed Grand Inga Dam in the DR Congo is a “beautiful vision” that would “fix Africa” by “lighting up the heart of darkness”, powering African industries and forcing countries to rely on each other.

The aid industry in Nepal — large budgets, large problems

(November 26, 2008) The Asian Development Bank, Chinese banks, and Indian firms are using foreign aid to build a mega-dam in Nepal where experts say an earthquake is likely. Nepal’s Federation of Water and Energy Users says the decision bypassed Parliament, violates the constitution and the human rights of Nepalese. Meanwhile, local micro-hydro operators are churning out cheaper, reliable, aid-free power.