WASHINGTON (USA)/JAKARTA (INDONESIA) – Campaigners around the world, from Washington to Jakarta, mark the 60th Anniversary of the World Bank on Thursday 22nd July with an international non-violent ‘day of action’, protesting at six decades of the Bank’s failed policies, misguided loans, increasing debt, and investment in dubious development projects .
The anniversary falls in the run up to a crucial August 3 decision by the World Bank on the implementation of the Extractive Industries Review . The review, carried out at the request of World Bank President James Wolfensohn, demands an end to the Bank’s support for unsustainable investments in oil exploitation and coal mining.
The final decision rests with the Bank’s Board, but indications from the Bank’s management suggest they do not want to see the review implemented, and will continue to invest billions of dollars in the oil, gas and mining industries. The World Bank is accountable to its shareholders, which are almost all of the world’s governments.
Longgena Ginting, director of WALHI/ Friends of the Earth Indonesia, said:
“It’s time to shake up the World Bank and implementing the Extractive Industries Review is a crucial first step. The World Bank is a public institution, intended to alleviate poverty, but instead it is supporting damaging industries and putting corporate profit before people and the environment. Oil, mining and gas projects have a clear irreversible damage and contribute too little to fight poverty. In many oil producing regions, poverty remains a structural poverty. There is no reason for the bank to continue supporting this.”
Established in 1944, the World Bank was set up to make loans and guarantee credit to its 184 member countries. Its mission is the alleviation of poverty. But the Bank’s interpretation of poverty alleviation has been questioned, with major investments made in projects which have had a detrimental effect on local communities, and damaged the local and global environment. Protests are planned for July 22 in cities around the world including Jakarta, London, Rome, Potosí, (Bolivia) and Washington.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT FRIENDS OF THE EARTH:
In Asia call in Jakarta: Longgena Ginting, +62 811 92 70 38
In the Americas call in Washington: Jon Sohn +1-2024122467
In Europe call in Amsterdam (NL) Janneke Bruil: +31-652118998 or
in London (UK) Hannah Ellis +44-2075661601 +44-7952876929
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 Environmental, development and human rights campaigners will all join in a global day of action ‘j-22′ which takes place around the world including Jakarta, London, Rome, Potosí, (Bolivia) and Washington.
 See the recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review. For more information on the EIR, view www.eireview.org
For more information on why “International Financial Institutions Must stop drilling, piping and mining”, read the Friends of the Earth International report.