(January 16, 2008) A review of World Bank loans to India’s health sector by the Bank’s own internal watchdog, indicates fraud and corruption put lives at risk, enriching contractors in the process. Worse still, says WSJ, the bank repeatedly looked the other way.
(December 28, 2007) The popular German grassroots Jubilee movement Erlassjahr has dismissed the World Bank paper on odious debts as biased and flawed.
(December 12, 2007) The World Bank has said it will not approve a $232 million loan to the Philippines until it is convinced anti-corruption measures have been put in place to protect the project the funds are intended for. The loan, due for approval on Dec. 13, was slated for a road building contract but was blocked by the Bank after the Chinese contractor was found to have been involved in bid rigging.
(November 28, 2007) When the World Bank staff staged a coup against then-President Paul Wolfowitz earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal editorials argued that one motivation was to stop his anti-corruption fight. Now The WSJ describes “another backroom putsch,” this time against Suzanne Rich Folsom, the head of the bank’s anticorruption unit (INT, or department of institutional integrity).
(November 20, 2007) The World Bank’s veto of a $232 million loan to the Philippines suggests a continued divide over corruption issues within the organization, The Wall Street Journal
(October 26, 2007) The World Bank should conduct a "full, independent peer review" on the odious debts discussion paper it released last month, say an alliance of civil society NGOs that includes Eurodad and the Jubilee Debt Campaign. The alliance, in a letter sent to the bank in early October, call the paper "far below what is needed" and argue not only that the paper is one-sided, but that it is missing significant sources and arguments. It further states that the paper is "largely dismissive of the concept of odious debt" and "omits important cases where the concept has been recognized."
(October 20, 2007) The World Bank’s controversial discussion paper on odious debt released last month has been met with disbelief and scorn. A review by Probe International’s executive director, Patricia Adams, concludes that it “is not a serious treatment of the rigorous scholarly debate now occurring over the concept of odious debts.”
(October 17, 2007) EU, World Bank to help China clean Yellow, Yangtze rivers.
(September 25, 2007) Despite wide news coverage of the Volcker-led inquiry to assess the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT), coverage of one of INT’s more effective internal anti-corruption investigations almost passed unnoticed. If not for recent editorial interest from the Wall Street Journal, an insightful glimpse of World Bank conflict of interest might have been lost. In "World Bank Corruption" and "Mind the GAP," editorial writers for the Wall Street Journal highlight an INT investigation they argue senior Bank officials are eager to discredit, even deep six.
(September 25, 2007) An investigation by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker into the World Bank’s internal anti-graft watchdog – the Department of Institutional Integrity (or INT) – blames World Bank staff and directors for failing to take corruption sufficiently seriously, says The Financial Times. Moreover, this institutional resistance has been the root cause of strife over the watchdog’s operations.
(September 25, 2007) The World Bank has issued a discussion paper [PDF] in which its unnamed authors dismiss the concept of odious debts as “controversial” and attempts to define it as having met with “insurmountable difficulties.”
(May 28, 2007) Probe International tells the World Bank to halt all loans to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Inga dam project until those affected by the dam are provided with the water, sanitation, electricity, health and education services promised to them more than 30 years ago.
(May 18, 2007) All that mattered to Mr. Wolfowitz’s accusers was to be rid of him, whatever the pretext or methods.
(May 17, 2007) The resignation, effective June 30, brings a dramatic conclusion to two days of negotiations between Mr. Wolfowitz and the bank board after weeks of turmoil.
(May 16, 2007) Although the World Bank is finally addressing corruption, President Paul Wolfowitz is doing so in a way that puts all the responsibility on the people of the borrowing country. In Wolfowitz’s system, the lender carries no responsibility.