This page links to information concerning a number of projects on which we have worked, in solidarity with local communities. In some cases, the projects rely on World Bank funding. In others they involve Canadian companies that may be seeking, or have secured, financial support from Export Development Canada (EDC). Sometimes they involve both. Regardless of the source of funding, in all cases, communities have contacted us because they are concerned about the significant adverse environmental, social and human rights impacts of the projects.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Experts address missing pieces of crisis response ahead of Canadian 2010 G8/G20 meeting
On October 19th and 20th the Halifax Initiative co-hosted a conference with The North-South Institute and the University of Ottawa on “What’s missing in the response to the global financial crisis?” The conference sought to engage the Canadian government in discussions with national and international academics, activists and policy-makers ahead of next year’s G8/G20. The conference touched upon a range of issues related to the causes of the crisis, policy and regulatory remedies, governance of the international financial institutions, tax havens and unfettered private capital flows, an emerging debt crisis, alternatives to the renewal of the Doha trade round, and the respective roles of the United Nations and G20. A policy brief with clear recommendations for the government is forthcoming.
The World Bank
Washington, D.C. 20433
Edith Grace Ssempala
Acting Senior Vice President External Affairs
October 26, 2008
Thank you for your letter regarding voice and participation of developing and transition countries in the governance of the World Bank Group. Mr. Zoellick asked me to respond, and I am therefore requesting that the Bretton Woods Project transmit this to all those who signed the letter.
Déja vu on preferred options for Bank governance reform
Despite internal and external criticism about the superficial nature of governance reforms recently concluded at the IMF (see IU April and June 2008), the World Bank looks set to follow suit at the October Annual meetings with a series of disappointing proposals for increasing the voice of developing and transition countries (DTC) at the Bank.
On May 29, Bill C-293 or the “better aid bill”, received royal assent, now legally requiring Canadian official development assistance (ODA) to contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards. Finance Canada, among others, is in the process of developing plans on how to implement the Bill in practice. These comments are intended to help Finance Canada in its interpretation of the Bill for the various international financial institutions (IFIs) for which it is the lead agency.
16 MAY 2008
Canadian Government Reports on IFI Activity Get Good Grade
The Canadian government’s annual reporting on its activities at international financial institutions is getting better, according to the authors, and to a Canadian civil society group which recently gave the latest report its best grade ever.
The Halifax Initiative said the report on 2007 activities merited a B+, up from last year’s rating of B-, and way up from the D grades of 2001-2005.
People’s Tribunal Examines World Bank Influence in India
Over sixty social movements, unions, academics, and local NGOs gathered for four days in New Delhi to examine how decades of World Bank policies and projects have affected the country’s economic and social landscape. Testimony, evidence, and research were heard by a 15 member jury of prominent activists, community leaders, retired justices, and academics in an effort to comprehensively assess the costs and benefits of World Bank assistance.