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WB accused of hiding info on its projects

By farjana - Posted on 22 May 2009

The World Bank does not provide any information on its projects in Bangladesh, obstructing stakeholders’ access to information in areas such as project agreement, implementation and monitoring, said participants in a consultation meeting.
They demanded public disclosure of all information related to WB projects as well as its funding procedures.

The meeting, held at the Dhaka Reporter’s Unity on Wednesday, was organised by research and advocacy organisation Voice and the Bank Information Centre. Former Appellate Division Judge Golam Rabbani presided over the meeting.
In his keynote speech, the Voice executive director, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, said according to the WB’s Inspection Panel Annual Report, there were allegations of lack of transparency, even violations, of its disclosure policy, he added.
He cited violations of the disclosure policy in a significant number of cases.

BRAC University professor Dr Piash Karim said the World Bank was losing its legitimacy worldwide because of imposition of neo-liberal conditions on the states.
Accusing the World Bank of taking advantage of the global financial crisis, he said it was eager to expand its lending base. He demanded that the World Bank’s lending policy and the project agreements should be made public so that people could voice their opinions on the project documents.
Sangbad executive editor Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said the World Bank should facilitate access to all documents to help people to give their opinions. People’s right to know should be ensured, making the documents available in their respective languages, he said.
The meeting was addressed, among others, by Article 19 country director Tahmina Rahman, DNet executive director Dr Ananya Raihan, Omar Tarek Chowdhury of Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha, Revolutionary Workers Party general secretry Saiful Haq and Equity and Justice Working Group convener Rezaul Karim Chowdhury.