Tag Archive | World Bank

World Bank Funds some of Africa’s most Notorious Land Grabs*

World Bank Funds some of Africa’s most Notorious Land Grabs*

The World Bank Group has indirectly financed some of Africa’s most notorious land grabs, according to a report by a group of international development watchdogs. The World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is enabling and profiting from these projects by outsourcing its development funds to the financial sector.

The report, Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa, was released today by Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center, Accountability Counsel, Urgewald and the Oakland Institute.

“Pouring money into commercial banks that are driven only by profit motivations is not the way to foster sustainable development,” said Marc Ona Essangui, Executive Director of Brainforest and winner of the Goldman environmental prize in 2009.

“In Gabon, this development model has instead enabled a massive expansion of industrial palm oil, which threatens our food security and the ecological balance of Congo Basin’s ancient rainforests.”

“Tens of millions of hectares of land on the African continent have been grabbed by foreign investors in recent years. This has led to loss of life, land, and livelihoods for millions, and threatened the very survival of entire communities and indigenous groups,” commented Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute.

“The World Bank must acknowledge that this is not development. It is not poverty reduction. These are investments for corporate profits that exploit and displace people.”

The report is based on a yearlong investigation conducted by Inclusive Development International, which found that IFC-supported commercial banks and private equity funds have financed projects across the world that have forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused widespread deforestation and environmental damage.  In Africa, the investigation uncovered 11 projects backed by IFC clients that have transferred approximately 700,000 hectares of land to foreign investors.

The projects include agribusiness concessions in the Gambela region of Ethiopia that were cleared of their indigenous inhabitants during a massive forcible population transfer campaign in the area; oil palm plantations in Gabon that have destroyed 19,000 hectares of rainforest and infringed on the customary land rights of local communities; and a gold mine in Guinea that led to the violent forced eviction of 380 families.

“These projects are antithetical to the World Bank’s mission of fighting poverty through sustainable development,” said David Pred, Managing Director of Inclusive Development International.

“They also make a mockery of the IFC’s social and environmental Performance Standards, which are supposed to be the rules of the road for the private sector activities that the IFC’s intermediaries support.”

The report is the fourth of the investigative series Outsourcing Development: Lifting the Veil on the World Bank’s Lending Through Financial Intermediaries, which follows the trail of IFC money and examines at how it impacts communities around the world.

The Congo Basin is home to the second largest rain forest on earth

Inclusive Development International’s yearlong investigation uncovered 134 harmful or risky projects financed by 29 IFC financial-sector clients. These projects are found in 28 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. A database of the findings can be found here.

In response to the concerns raised in the Outsourcing Development investigation and by the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, IFC Executive Vice President Philippe Le Houérou recently acknowledged the need for the World Bank Group member to re-examine its work with financial institutions.  In a blog post from April 10, Le Houérou wrote that the IFC would make “some important additional improvements to the way we work,” by scaling back the IFC’s high-risk investments in financial institutions, increasing its oversight of financial intermediary clients and bringing more transparency to these investments, among other commitments.

The IFC has also exited investments in banks highlighted by the Outsourcing Development investigation, including ICICI and Kotak Mahindra in India and BDO Unibank in the Philippines.

“We welcome the IFC’s new commitments to encourage a more responsible banking system by increasing its oversight and capacity building of financial sector-clients moving forward,” said Pred. “However, rather than simply divest, we want to see the IFC work with its clients to redress the serious harms that communities have suffered as a result of the irresponsible investments that we have brought to light.”

“IFC’s collusion in land-grabbing in Africa is deeply shocking, so its pledge to reduce high risk lending to banks is welcome, said Kate Geary, Forest Campaign Manager for Bank Information Centre Europe.

“But how can we be sure when there is no disclosure of where over 90% of IFC’s money invested through third parties ends up? The IFC’s financial sector clients must come clean about projects they are financing so they can be held accountable to their commitments to invest responsibly.”

Financial-sector lending represents a dramatic shift in how the IFC does business. After decades of lending directly to companies and projects, the World Bank Group member now provides the bulk of its funds to for-profit financial institutions, which invest the money as they see fit, with little apparent oversight. Between 2011 and 2015, the IFC provided $40 billion to financial intermediaries such as commercial banks and private equity funds. Other development finance institutions have followed suit.

Unjust Enrichment:  How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa is available at:


The Outsourcing Development series is available at: http://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/outsourcing-development

A database of IFC Financial Intermediary sub-Investments with serious social, environmental and human rights risks and impacts is available at:



Related Topics:

The U.S. Elite Troops Partner with African Forces but Pursue U.S. Aims*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

TPP, TPPA Goes EPA in the Recolonization of Africa*

Corporate Landgrab Deprives Small Farmers Who Feed the World- with Less than a Quarter of all Farmland*

Rothschild’s Rio Tinto Signs $20bn African Iron Ore Deal*

Senegal Farmers Tell Transnational Corporations to get off their Land*

Recolonizing Africa: Consolidating African Oil Assets*

The Imperial Vultures to Gather for the U.S.-Africa Summit*

Half the Size of Europe ‘Grabbed’ from Africa!

Ethiopia: Removing 70,000 People for Land Grab!

Vulture Investors Playing Monopoly with Africa!

World Bank Declares itself Above the Law*

Honduran Farmers Sue World Bank for Lending Arms for ‘Profiting From Murder’*

The World Bank’s Identification for Development*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

World Bank Declares itself Above the Law*

World Bank Declares itself Above the Law*

By Pete Dolack

The World Bank has for decades left a trail of human misery. Destruction of the environment, massive human rights abuses and mass displacement have been ignored in the name of “development” that works to intensify neoliberal inequality. In response to legal attempts to hold it to account, the World Bank has declared itself above the law.

At least one U.S. trial court has already agreed that the bank can’t be touched, and thus the latest lawsuit filed against it, attempting to obtain some measure of justice for displaced Honduran farmers, faces a steep challenge. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of legal proceedings, however, millions of people around the world have paid horrific prices for the relentless pursuit of profit.

A trail of evictions, displacements, gross human rights violations (including rape, murder and torture), widespread destruction of forests, financing of greenhouse-gas-belching fossil-fuel projects, and destruction of water and food sources has followed the World Bank.

The latest attempt at accountability is a lawsuit filed in the U.S. federal court in Washington by EarthRights International, a human rights and environmental non-governmental organization, charging that the World Bank has turned a blind eye to systematic abuses associated with palm-oil plantations in Honduras that it has financed. The lawsuit, Juana Doe v. International Finance Corporation, alleges that,

“Since the mid-1990s, the International Finance Corporation [a division of the World Bank] has invested millions of dollars in Honduran palm-oil companies owned by the late Miguel Facussé. Those companies — which exist today as Dinant — have been at the center of a decades-long and bloody land-grabbing campaign in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras.

For nearly two decades, farmer cooperatives have challenged Dinant’s claims to sixteen palm-oil plantations … that it has held in the Bajo Aguán region. On information and belief, Dinant’s former owner, Miguel Facussé, took that land from the farmer cooperatives through fraud, coercion, and actual or threatened violence. The farmer cooperatives have engaged in lawsuits, political advocacy, and peaceful protests to challenge Dinant’s control and use of the land. And Dinant has responded to such efforts with violence and aggression.”

Bank’s own staff cites failures

EarthRights International alleges that the World Bank has “repeatedly and consistently provided critical funding to Dinant, knowing that Dinant was waging a campaign of violence, terror, and dispossession against farmers, and that their money would be used to aid the commission of gross human rights abuses.” The lawsuit filing cites “U.S. government sources” to allege that more than 100 farmers have been killed since 2009.

The suit also says that the International Finance Corporation’s own ombudsman said the World Bank division “failed to spot or deliberately ignored the serious social, political and human rights context.” These failures arose “from staff incentives ‘to overlook, fail to articulate, or even conceal potential environmental, social and conflict risk’ and ‘to get money out the door.’ ” Despite this internal report, the suit says, the World Bank continued to provide financing and that the ombudsman has “no authority to remedy abuses.”

(World Bank representatives did not respond to a request for comment. Although not directly a party to the lawsuit, Dinant describes the allegations as “absurd.” In a statement on its web site, the company said “All allegations that Dinant is — or ever has been — engaged in systematic violence against members of the community are without foundation.”)

EarthRights International’s lawsuit faces an uphill challenge due to an earlier suit filed by it on behalf of Indian farmers and fisher-people being thrown out by the same court when it ruled that the World Bank is immune from legal challenge. The bank provided $450 million for a power plant that the plaintiffs said degraded the environment and destroyed livelihoods. The court agreed with the World Bank’s contention that it has immunity under the International Organizations Immunities Act. (The dismissal has been appealed.)

The International Organizations Immunities Act provides that “International organizations, their property and their assets, wherever located, and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy the same immunity from suit and every form of judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments.” The World Bank has been declared the equivalent of a sovereign state, and in this context is placed above any law as if it possesses diplomatic immunity.

This law is applied selectively; lawsuits against Cuba are not only allowed but consistently won by plaintiffs. These are not necessarily the strongest of cases, such as participants in the Bay of Pigs invasion winning judgments and a woman who was married to a Cuban who went back to Cuba winning $27 million because the court found that her marriage made her a “victim of terrorism”!

More than 3 million people displaced

Despite its immunity, a passport may not be needed to enter a World Bank office, but can it be argued that the lending organization uses its immense power wisely? That would be a very difficult case to make.

A 2015 report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that 3.4 million people were physically or economically displaced by projects funded by the World Bank. Land was taken, people were forced from their homes and their livelihoods damaged. Some of the other findings of the report, on which more than 50 journalists from 21 countries worked:

  • From 2009 to 2013, the World Bank pumped $50 billion into projects graded the highest risk for “irreversible or unprecedented” social or environmental impacts — more than twice as much as the previous five-year span.
  • The bank regularly fails to live up to its own policies that purport to protect people harmed by projects it finances.
  • The World Bank and its International Finance Corporation lending arm have financed governments and companies accused of human rights violations such as rape, murder and torture. In some cases, they continued to bankroll these borrowers after evidence of abuses emerged.
  • Ethiopian authorities diverted millions of dollars from a World Bank-supported project to fund a violent campaign of mass evictions, according to former officials who carried out the forced resettlement program.

One of the articles that is a part of this investigative report said the bank routinely ignores its own rules that require detailed resettlement plans and that employees face strong pressure to approve big infrastructure projects. The report says:

“The World Bank often neglects to properly review projects ahead of time to make sure communities are protected, and frequently has no idea what happens to people after they are removed. In many cases, it has continued to do business with governments that have abused their citizens, sending a signal that borrowers have little to fear if they violate the bank’s rules, according to current and former bank employees.

‘There was often no intent on the part of the governments to comply — and there was often no intent on the part of the bank’s management to enforce,’ said Navin Rai, a former World Bank official who oversaw the bank’s protections for indigenous peoples from 2000 to 2012. ‘That was how the game was played.’ …

Current and former bank employees say the work of enforcing these standards has often been undercut by internal pressures to win approval for big, splashy projects. Many bank managers, insiders say, define success by the number of deals they fund. They often push back against requirements that add complications and costs.”

Funding that facilitates global warming

Incredibly, one of the outcomes of the Paris Climate Summit was for leaders of the G7 countries to issue a communiqué that they would seek to raise funds “from private investors, development finance institutions and multilateral development banks.” These leaders propose the World Bank be used to fight global warming despite it being a major contributor to projects that increase greenhouse-gas emissions, including providing billions of dollars to finance new coal plants around the world. The bank even had the monumental hypocrisy to issue a report in 2012 that called for slowing global warming while ignoring its own role.

It is hoped you, dear reader, won’t fall off your chair in shock, but the World Bank’s role in facilitating global warming has since only increased.

Financing projects that facilitate global warming had already been on the rise. A study prepared by the Institute for Policy Studies and four other organizations found that World Bank lending for coal, oil and gas reached $3 billion in 2008 — a sixfold increase from 2004. In the same year, only $476 million went toward renewable energy sources. Oil Change International (citing somewhat lower dollar figures) estimates that World Bank funding for fossil fuels doubled from 2011 to 2015.

Destructive logging projects across the Global South funded by the World Bank accelerated in the 1990s. Despite a January 2000 internal report finding that its lending practices had not curbed deforestation or reduced poverty, Southeast Asia saw a continuation of illegal logging and land concessions, and untimely deaths of local people blowing the whistle, as has Africa.

Similar to its report on curbing global warming that ignores its own role, the World Bank shamelessly issued a 2012 report calling for international law enforcement measures against illegal logging. Perhaps what is illegal are only those operations not funded by the bank?

Loans to pay debt create more debt, repeat

Ideology plays a critical role here. International lending organizations, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, consistently impose austerity. The IMF’s loans, earmarked for loans to governments to pay debts or stabilize currencies, always come with the same requirements to privatize public assets (which can be sold far below market value to multi-national corporations waiting to pounce); cut social safety nets; drastically reduce the scope of government services; eliminate regulations; and open economies wide to multi-national capital, even if that means the destruction of local industry and agriculture. This results in more debt, which then gives multi-national corporations and the IMF, which enforces those corporate interests, still more leverage to impose more control, including heightened ability to weaken environmental and labor laws.

The World Bank compliments this by funding massive infrastructure projects that tend to enormously profit deep-pocketed international investors but ignore the effects on local people and the environment.

The World Bank employs a large contingent of scientists and technicians, which give it a veneer of authority as it pursues a policy of relentless corporate plunder. Noting that the bank possesses “an enormous research and knowledge generation capacity,” The environmental and social-justice organization ASEED Europe reports:

“The World Bank is the institution with one of the largest research budgets globally and has no rival in the field of development economics. … A number of researchers and scholars have questioned the reliability of the World Bank-commissioned research. Alice Amsdem, a top scholar on East Asian economies, argues that since the World Bank continually fails to scientifically prove its conclusions, its policy justifications are ‘quintessentially political and ideological.’ Regarding the World Development Report (WDR) series, for example, Nicholas Stern, an Oxford professor in economics and former World Bank chief economist says that many of the numbers used by the Bank come from highly dubious sources, or have been constructed in ways which leaves one sceptical as to whether they can be helpfully applied.” (citations omitted)

Capitalist ideology rests on the concept of “markets” being so efficient that they should be allowed to work without human intervention. But what is a market? Under capitalism, it is nothing more than the aggregate interests of the most powerful and largest financiers and industrialists. No wonder that “markets” “decide” that neoliberal austerity must be ruthlessly imposed — it is those at the top of vast corporate institutions who benefit from the decisions that the World Bank, and similar institutions, consistently make.

Markets do not sit in the clouds, beyond human control, as some perfect mechanism. They impose the will of those with the most who can not ever have enough. Markets are not ordained by some higher power — everything of human creation can be undone by human hands. Our current world system is no exception.


Related Topics:

Honduras: Paradise in Peril

Honduran Farmers Sue World Bank for Lending Arms for ‘Profiting From Murder*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

The World Bank’s Identification for Development*

Gates and World Bank Peddling Private, For-Profit Schools in Africa, Disguised As Aid*

Eugenics of the UN, WHO and World Bank in Mexico*

Africa Human Rights Body Rejects New World Bank Proposals*

The World Bank and Money Laundering


Russia Preparing for Potential Removal from International Banking System*

Russia Preparing for Potential Removal from International Banking System*

Global financial institutions like the World Bank and SWIFT can make or break the economies of entire nations due to their domination of the international banking system. Russia is making preparations in case they are ever barred from access to these institutions due to geopolitical influence from the West.

By Whitney Webb

Whether Russia’s aim in creating and implementing an alternative to SWIFT is based chiefly on protecting its own economy or not, the move further illustrates how the concentration of international power is steadily moving eastward. (Photo: Mikhail Voskresensky/Sputnik)

In 2011, a Swiss study confirmed what many already knew or suspected: bankers run the world. The study, completed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, found that “a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions,” essentially forming a network of global corporate control. This economic “super-entity,” as the authors called it, dominates the international banking system.

Among the most influential entities in the system are international financial institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). These institutions represent the only source of financial recourse for nations that require the services they offer, as no alternatives have existed until quite recently.

The World Bank and the IMF, for instance, provide financial support to developing nations and member states, serving as the last resort for governments that are in a state of financial ruin or that are set to default on their debt. SWIFT, on the other hand, provides a much different service – offering financial institutions the means to send and receive messages from other such institutions in a secure manner.  Without SWIFT access, nations and the businesses operating within them become unable to complete international transactions and are thus cut off from the global economy at large.

While each of these institutions and service providers are ostensibly unbiased towards the politics of any given nation, the undue influence of countries like the United States has made itself known within these institutions, with the U.S. using their power to force political or economic changes within any number of countries. John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, described the World Bank’s activities as “pure economic colonization on behalf of power corporations and banks that use the United States government as their tool.”

The U.S.’ influence over key financial institutions has pushed other countries, namely the BRICS group and other economic rivals to American hegemony, to build their own alternatives. Years of efforts to create rival institutions culminated in 2015, when the 100-billion dollar BRICS-funded New Development Bank (NDB) was launched, a move widely recognized as a direct challenge to the supremacy of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency. This was heightened just months later, when China launched the China International Payment System (CIPS), which aimed to reduce the nation’s reliance on SWIFT while also propelling its own currency into greater international prominence.

Russia’s Efforts to Move Away From Global Banking Hegemony

From left: Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff , Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma sit during a signing ceremony at the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, Thursday, July 9, 2015. (Sergei Ilnitsky/AP)


One of the factors that drove the push to consolidate international banking alternatives in 2015 was the Ukrainian coup of 2014 and subsequent threats by Western countries to isolate Russia from the international financial order. Following Western accusations of Russian aggression in Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of the Crimea after a contested referendum vote, Western nations called for sweeping economic retaliation against Russia, including banning them from SWIFT entirely and essentially paralyzing the banking system within the Crimea.

Russia was not ultimately banned from SWIFT, but the threat of being prohibited from the dominant means of realizing financial transactions made it clear to Russia and other BRICS nations that their dependency on the Western-dominated international financial system was not in their best interest. Iran’s prohibition from using the SWIFT system from 2012 to 2015 made it clear that the West, and particularly the U.S., could and would use its influence within international banking institutions to cripple a nation’s economy for geopolitical reasons.

Not willing to wait for the next attempt by Western countries to cut it off from key financial institutions and services, Russia has now created an alternative to SWIFT to protect its economy and financial sector. Western governments have yet to respond to the creation of this alternative system.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last Wednesday, Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina stated that:

“There were threats that we can be disconnected from SWIFT. We have finished working on our own payment system, and if something happens, all operations in SWIFT format will work inside the country. We have created an alternative.”

The alternative system, known by its abbreviation SPFS, is analogous to SWIFT for financial transactions taking place in Russia and has been in the works for years, with 330 Russian banks connected over a year ago. This number will likely increase now that it has been successfully developed and implemented. Nabiullina also added during the meeting that 90% of ATMs in Russia are now compatible with Mir, a Russian version of the Visa and Mastercard payment systems that is used domestically. However, the SPFS is still far from perfect, not operating from 9 pm to 5 am Moscow time and with a transfer cost of 5 cents per transaction.

Whether Russia’s aim in creating and implementing an alternative to SWIFT is based chiefly on protecting its own economy or not, the move further illustrates how the concentration of international power is steadily moving eastward. Along with parallel efforts by China and other BRICS nations, U.S. and Western economic hegemony is unraveling, a stark reality that U.S. interests – particularly those of the “deep state” – are desperate to avoid.

The U.S. and its allies have taken to using geopolitical pressure and economic threats, like banning nations from SWIFT, in order to accomplish this – a move that ironically seems to be pushing more countries away from U.S.-dominated economic systems and into the arms of its direct competitors.


Related Topics:

BRICS Under Attack: Brazilian PM Must Say Goodbye to BRICS and Hello to Washington or Face a Coup*

BRICS Under Attack: Western Banks, Governments Launch Full-Spectrum Assault On Russia*

BRICS Under Attack: NWO Tentacles Extending into South Africa*

Indian Economy Crashes As Modi’s ‘Black Money’ Theory Collapses*

Asian Bank Threatens the Dollar, so U.S. Threatens China*

Rothschild’s Summit Fine-tuning Capitalism into Global Economic Tyranny*

This Week the ‘Arch of Baal’ Was Displayed For the Third Time in Honour of ‘The World Government Summit’*

E.U. Desperate to Raises Taxes Starts Cashless Society Project November 2017*

E.U. Passed Tax ID Numbers for Everyone*

Iran Finally Ditched the Dollar: Here’s Why It Matters*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

Monsanto is one of the six major companies in control of the world’s seed.

Monsanto by David Dees

The world seed market currently lies in the hands of only six agribusinesses transnationals.

A host of concerned organizations and individuals have come out in opposition to a corporate-backed plan by the World Bank to control the world’s seed industry. The groups say that the wide-reaching plan will strip farmers of their rights to seeds and food.

The denouncement comes in response to the World Bank’s report titled, “Enabling the Business of Agriculture.” A letter signed by 157 organizations and academics, was addressed to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and the EBA’s five donor organizations, to demand an end to the controversial project.

“The EBA dictates so-called ‘good practices’ to regulate agriculture and scores countries on how well they implement its prescriptions,” said Frederic Mousseau, policy director from the Oakland Institute. “The Bank, behind closed doors, convinces governments to implement reforms based on the EBA scores, thereby bypassing farmers and citizens’ engagement,” he added.

In the report, “Down on the Seed, the World Bank Enables Corporate Takeover of Seeds,” the Oakland Institute explained how multinational companies already exercise tight control on the majority of the world’s seed industry.

It shows how the world seed market currently lies in the hands of only six agribusinesses transnationals, while small campesino farms “currently provide 80 to 90 percent of the seed supply in developing countries through on-farm seed saving and farmer-to-farmer seed exchange.”

While it would be crucial for food security across the world — especially in poor countries — to maintain the autonomy of small campesino farms, the World Bank is promoting a different model opposite to its official principles, said the report.

“The EBA reforms aim to foster the privatization of seed systems, regardless of the consequences for farmers and the planet,” said Alice Martin-Prevel, author of the report, “Down on the Seed.”

“The reduction of farmers as passive consumers of industrial seeds undermines their contribution to agro-biodiversity, which is crucial to mitigate pests, disease, and the effects of climate change. It also disempowers farmers, while failing to protect them in increasingly concentrated markets,” she concluded.


Related Topics:

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

Scientists seek over 100,000 Seed samples from Gates’ Doomsday Vault*

Gates and Monsanto and the “Doomsday” Seed Vault*

Gates and Friends to Meet Privately on how they can Profit from African Seeds*

Biotech Takeover of African Seed Companies*

Colonialism in Disguise: Farmers Sued for Reusing Monsanto Seeds*

Farmers of El Salvador Block Monsanto Seeds*

Six Companies Have Patented 76% of the Global Seed Market*

Sowing Seeds of Health, Hope and Humanity*

List Of Monsanto Free Seed Companies*

FDA Approves New GM Pineapple*

The GMO Agenda is Planned Sterilization of Humanity*

Heavenly Signs: Pluto Discloses

Planetary conjunction

Heavenly Signs: Pluto Discloses

By Hwaa Irfan

“Changing times” is an often used phrase, but in reality, the only thing that has changed before now, is our perception of reality. My symbolic reference throughout these “heavenly signs” has been Egypt’s January 25th Revolution, 2011, led by a youth whose fitra has set them, above even their own. Like the prophets of old unrecognized by their own society, their battle has been one guided by a Knowing that sometimes even they cannot explain to a middle and upper class population that in the main do not want change. That sometimes unintended counter-revolutionary position is one that most people around the world is their reality, a reality that is ever so slowly evaporating as it awakens to the greater reality of the underlying global system that has directed us to this impass.

Before one can go backwards, or reflect on one’s life, one has to slow down, and slowing down is what has been taking place for those whose consciousness is awakening to the many myths that we have entrained ourselves with.

Pluto is here to help us in our inner sojourn, a sojourn to reconnecting to our truer, and higher selves. Pluto moves slowly, so that has given us some time to slow down as Pluto slows down before standing still as indicated by its March 2012 journey. Fear of the unknown can manifest itself in many forms, as those who fear real change hold onto to the only thing that they have known all these years, at the cost and freedom of others, and at the cost and liberty of their truer selves.

A sense of paralysis sets in, and even panick becuase our minds are not yet equipped to take on other possibilities, possibilities that are represented by the January 25th revolutionary youth that each and everone one of us can live a better life than this. Despite the unintended and intended counter-revolutionary actions of those who mistakenly believe that there is only one way, the well trodden way, and their stifling of the unseen forces behind those youths (and here the reference is not political or pseudo-political entities), the seeds of hope have been sown by those youth. One of those seeds took the form of the Cairo Administrative Court which recently ruled against the domination of the Constituent Assembly by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Freedom Party, and the unconstitional acts of the military governance of SCAF as represented by the continuance of the old regime through putting forward the former intelligence head Omar Suleiman. This seed raises its head in Europe through the revelation of activities of corruption by French President Sarkozy, Italian former President Bersculoni, and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Khan, and the  594 resignations from the World Bank, and related investment industries around the world.

As elements are conjoining in Egypt to delay the constitution before electing the president, to prevent informed elections from the point of the masses, and the state media to ignore, deny, and undermine the voice of change for the betterment of all, the very call for change that was believed to be dwindling has reignited. Far from the media portrayal of youth who have nothing better to do, Friday 20th April 2012 in Tahrir Square was a peaceful mass gathering of people of all ages, faith, and beliefs, young and old in good spirits, and a strong sense of being, not destitution. They were not the ignorant and illiterate masses that members of the middle and upper classes like to portray, even families with children were present – that is how communal the gathering was. For now, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have been given a judicial decree to form a constitutional assembly that consists of people outside of the parliament, from all sectors of society (as attested to in the interim constitution that was put to referendum in 2011, and that this constitution has to also go to referendum.

For whatever reason these movements are taking place, they represent what is no longer sustainable, as in the move by 7 European countries to block the spread of genetically modified crops and foods in Europe.

What is unsustainable in all our lives is what Pluto has come to challenge in all of our lives – as we must throw it out whether it be emotional, psychological, lifestyles etc., for what we do, as long as it is unsustainable to another, it is unsustainable to the whole. Yet we remain under the illusion that the main sovereign global players are the drivers behind global wealth, when in 2012 (to date), Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa  provided 56% of the global GDP growth, while the richest (G7) provided only 9.5%!

This is the lesson of the January 25th revolutionary youth, and the lesson of Pluto.

Easier said than done, and a sense of paralysis will be, and has been felt, but this is Pluto preparing to go retrograde. If we all paddled in the same direction, the change to come will be much easier, more exciting, and full of wonderful opportunities for us all, but of course there will be those who will hold on to what has been their reality, set for a path of destruction as represented by the U.S., global governance, and those who mistakenly belive that there is no other way. I also believe that this applies to Japan as a geographical entity, and others… time will tell. Pluto in the sign of worldly power, Capricorn offers no choices with Saturn as its ruler, all false relationships will be severely tested!

This levelling began at the time of the beginning of the global economic crisis, in January 2008, and will go on until around March 2023, which shows how much work has to be done becuase slow-moving Pluto remains in Capricorn until then! There is a lot of waking up to do both on a personal level, social, and global, but only the people can help make that transition, because it is by our permission that myths reign or fail!

Related Topics:

Japan May Evacuate 40 Million People*

Big Brother Poised to Spy on Online 24/7…*

Occupy World: From Fracking to Questionable Renewable Energy!

Dumping the Dollar, the World Bank, and IMF

Are We in the Throes of an Evolutionary Process!

You Can Forget About Spring This Year!

Occupy World: Monsantos GM Crops Loses Another Battle in Global Food Supply

The Art of Intelligent Waiting

An Economy of Greed

101 Resignations from the World Bank*

World Bank: Is Jim Yong Kim a Sign of Things to Come?

World Bank: Is  Jim Yong Kim a Sign of Things to Come?

By Hwaa Irfan

All the protestations over the selection of the next president for the World Bank, it was rather futile, as it was always a foregone conclusion that just as the IMF’s is Europe’s the World Bank belongs to the U.S. Somehow far too many people are still under the illusion that we live in a democracy and that they would be heard given the overt nature of global governance since the inception of the 2008 global economic crisis.

The name Jim Yong Kim sounds international enough, and the fact that Kim was born in Korea negating that the U.S. has practically divided the one country into two; therefore Kim like Moon belongs to South Korea, the Korea that falls quite squarely within the Washington Consensus.

However, I at least seem to fail to make that stretch of the imagination as to how Kim’s background equips him to lead the top banking institution. His C.V. reads like the Guinness Book of Records, where banking and finance is not mentioned. Instead one will find his professional activities quite clearly leaning on the medical side, including social medicine both domestically, meaning the U.S., and globally meaning the World Health Organization.

Kim’s dedicated and pioneering role in tuberculosis and HIV/Aids seems to be sufficient, as according to U.S. President Barack Obama:

“It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency,”

I seem to be missing something here!

Whose/Which Development?

“His deep development background coupled with his dedication to forging consensus will help breathe new life into the World Bank’s efforts to secure fast economic growth that is widely shared,” said US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a statement.

Here I would like to emphasize “forging consensus…”

Kim certainly forged consensus when he brokered a deal with Big Pharma and, WHO. That deal led to the expansion of pharmaceutical drug market via lower drug pricing for TB drugs

The drug cartel, Big Pharma (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA) that invents illnesses for the marketing of drugs, and is responsible for the hard sell of:

Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil – antidepressants that increase the risk of violent/suicidal tendencies, congenital birth/heart defects, Cleft lip/palate, clubfoot, brain defects like anencephaly, Neural tube defects such as spina bifida, and hole in the heart amongst other side effects.

Donepezil (trade name Aricept) – for Alzheimers and dementia

Namenda – for Alzheimers and dementia that causes arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), high blood pressure, dizziness, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, reduced hearing, blurred vision, cataracts, kidney disease, heart attacks, and seizures or convulsions.

Lipitor  (atorvastatin calcium) – a cholesterol lowering drug that causes liver failure, anaphylaxis, angioneurotic oedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis), rhabdomyolysis, fatigue, tendon rupture, dizziness, depression, and pancreatitis.

These are just a few examples of helping Big Pharma to reap further benefits on the global scene, but their expansion on the global scene was around drugs for tuberculosis, TB. TB remains a growing problem large in part because of drugs – TB has become drug resistant, and as such Big Pharma has come to the rescue [create the problem so that your solution can be accepted] ignoring them simple remedies that cannot be patented e.g. garlic, and Vitamin D, which are more effective than man-made antibiotics.

Kim was crucial to the ‘development’ or more pointedly the expansion of Big Pharma on the global health scene to the extent that Big Pharma benefited by providing generic and discounted AIDS medicines to a large group of customers in South Africa, where many have suffered from side effects that include eye, kidney, liver and heart problems as well as death because of those drugs. Then bring in patenting, and the price goes up, and up, and up! That’s what happened in the case of Vietnam:

“This U.S. trade policy is going to undermine U.S. AIDS policy by driving up medicine costs and keeping new HIV/AIDS drugs monopolized for longer periods of time in Vietnam,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines project to the Huffington Post

“We’re setting up U.S. taxpayers to pay more for the same result or just accomplish less.”

Forget about health, it is about the money!

Kim was also on the Advisory panel for the Innova-P2 project, a project that Funded by the European Commission to:

“…unites an international and interdisciplinary team devoted to advancing a realistic, theoretically sophisticated plan for reforming the intellectual property rights system for pharmaceuticals.”

If to unite can be translated as “forging consensus” this would naturally follows Obama’s recent signing into legislation ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a multinational agreement to enforce intellectual property law involving a select number of countries, corporations. Kim, Obama’s man in the World Bank would help to enforce that law globally ensuring the wealth of global financial elite.  Then add to this happy scenario George Soros, Bill Gates, and Monsanto, which donated to Kim’s TB vaccine campaign from which many have died in India.  All are partners in patenting the world’s natural resources, genetically modified foods to replace one of the world’s natural resources, and population control in order to advance monopoly by the few over the many.

“Who controls the food supply controls the people

“Who controls the energy can control whole continents

“Who controls the money can control the whole world ~ Henry Kissinger, 1973.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, U.S. nominee for the World Bank presidency, gave this statement to the World Bank Board of Directors on April 11, 2012.

Our Shared Goals

It is an honor for me to be part of an open and merit-based election process. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to, and engage with most of you, and to visit a number of your governors since my nomination.

These interactions have underscored the reality that all countries share the goal of generating robust economic growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. We are bound together by our shared priority of creating jobs, especially for young people, and addressing inequality. All countries share concerns about new and unpredictable risks to the global economy that can reverse progress against poverty.

In helping to address these concerns, the Bank is an unparalleled resource for its members, not only for financing but also knowledge and convening power. These strengths were apparent in the Bank’s timely response to the recent financial crisis. The Bank must remain an effective partner in strengthening the foundations and fairness of the global economy, and in ensuring that the benefits of growth are widely shared.

Among shareholders there exists a strong consensus about the Bank’s future role. The Bank must maintain a sound financial structure that lends credibility and capacity to respond when called upon. Shareholders do not expect the World Bank to do everything, but they insist that it remain a preeminent platform for attracting and leveraging global knowledge and capital. They rightly admire World Bank staff and are committed to harnessing the talents of an increasingly diverse and decentralized team of talented professionals.

As a testament to their commitment to this institution, Governors recently recommitted to the Bank with a nearly one-third increase in capital to restore its risk-bearing capacity and ensure continued lending. Countries also supported a record, $49 billion replenishment of the International Development Association, which is particularly striking at a time of financial constraints. Together, these investments can support country-led efforts for achieving inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Countries continue to call on the Bank for not only country-level financing for improvements in financial markets, infrastructure, agriculture, governance and other sectors, but also at the global level to help address shared challenges like gender equity, climate change, green growth, trade finance, job creation, and food security. They also want support for attracting more private investment and building competitive private sector environments.

The Bank’s shareholders have demanded and embarked upon an ambitious modernization agenda to make the Bank a more open, accountable, and responsive partner. This effort has demonstrated significant progress so far on openness and transparency, on defining and delivering results, and on initial efforts to simplify and streamline operations. This is an agenda that must continue and become even more deeply embedded in the practices of this institution.

The World Bank has taken steps to realign voting power to increase the voice and responsibility of developing countries in the governance of this institution. The Bank is gearing up for the challenges of the future, which will increasingly call for greater South-South exchange and engagement. Providing greater voice and representation to the developing world is an imperative for the effectiveness and global legitimacy of the institution.

Our Shared Challenges

And yet, as I’ve spoken to executive directors and governors, I’ve also heard about several challenges pertaining to the Bank’s future, and concerns regarding whether this latest round of reforms and reorientation is sufficient to enable the Bank to rise to meet the next set of challenges facing its members and clients.

Some countries, struggling with, or emerging from, conflict, want the Bank Group’s help to bring stability and meet basic demands for jobs and security. No “fragile” country is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially the goal of improving maternal health. These countries want an institution that is far more responsive than it is today, and capable of delivering the right financial and technical support at the right time.

Many of the Bank’s IDA clients want help in building their own high-quality institutions. While they continue to seek concessional resources, they want an institution that doesn’t seek to set their priorities for them and is faster and easier to work with.

Many small countries appear worried that high overhead costs will result in the Bank ceasing operations in their countries altogether. But demand in these countries for Bank services remains high. They need resources for forging greater regional integration and building resilience to shocks and disasters. They want a Bank that’s lean enough to serve them in a cost-effective manner and capable of quickly assembling the best advice and ideas from around the world.

Middle-income countries have an increasing number of options for development financing, but continue to look to the Bank for critical support and expertise. In particular, they need a more flexible partner to help them address deficits in infrastructure and planning capacity. They seek greater innovation in financing mechanisms. They want a partner in reducing high unemployment levels and uneven growth that, in many cases, has left millions of people in poverty even as their countries’ overall income levels rise. In turn, middle-income countries have a lot to offer the Bank and to other members based on their own development experiences.

High-income countries value the financial leverage and forum for knowledge exchange that the Bank Group offers. At a time of domestic fiscal constraints, they value the Bank’s capacity to maximize impacts within a limited resource envelope. They need to demonstrate to their taxpayers the Bank’s effectiveness and want the Bank to lead in finding solutions for a growing number of transnational challenges. They believe in the value of IDA and underscore the importance of finding ways to strengthen its long-term sustainability. They seek more innovative and cross-border partnerships.

A strong and common theme is that clients and shareholders, wherever they come from, value the Bank yet also expect much more from it. They want the Bank to take smarter and better-managed risks. They are committed to the mission and the mandate, but believe change is needed to make the Bank truly fit for its essential purpose.

Working Together for Change

If elected, I would bring new leadership to this great institution.

First, throughout my career, I have worked both within and outside institutions for reform and change. I haven’t just managed large institutions; I have worked to change them and make them more effective in accomplishing their mission. As President of Dartmouth — a leading knowledge institution with a medical school, a business school, an engineering school, and about 4,500 employees — I managed an $820 million budget, oversaw a $3.5 billion endowment and made necessary cuts in the institution’s budget at a time of reduced investment returns, while protecting the quality of both research and teaching. I understand the very difficult choices that confront institutions with declining or flat administrative budgets, and would work closely with the Board to ensure that we safeguard the Bank’s sound financial model and considerable pool of talent, while ensuring the Bank can achieve its mandate.

My work on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) defied convention, building powerful alliances for progressive change. In 1994, working with Partners in Health, we found scores of people in the shantytowns of Lima suffering from TB, and standard treatment was not working. My colleagues and I developed systems to get appropriate but difficult to procure drugs to South America, preventing drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis from spreading widely through families, communities and the world.

Second, my life’s work has focused on investing in people to spur inclusive growth. I have devoted my career to providing the poorest communities with access to the technology, information, and resources of the developed world. At a time when skeptics argued that African countries were not ready for antiretroviral drugs, at the World Health Organization, I set a goal of getting three million people in developing countries on treatment for HIV — an ambitious target that was reached in 2007. By combating HIV/AIDS, our efforts contributed to stemming the tide of an epidemic that threatened to halt investment and growth on the African continent.

As an educator, today, I am deeply concerned about the high levels of unemployment and skill mismatches facing young people. Young men and women worldwide are vulnerable, underemployed or unemployed and feel disconnected from systems they feel no longer work well for them. They need opportunity, skills and access to capital. This is an urgent priority. As a grassroots development practitioner, I find it unacceptable that up to 358,000 women die each year in pregnancy and childbirth. This isn’t just a medical failure; it is an infrastructure failure, borne of far too many communities’ lack of roads, health clinics, effective supply chains, and communication networks. The World Bank must do more to strengthen rural infrastructure.

Third, I am a physician and an anthropologist committed to a strong, evidence-based approach to problem solving. To be effective, doctors must listen, evaluate the available evidence, assess options and alternatives, take action and listen more to refine their approach, if needed. I do not come to this election with a rigid or ideological approach. Rather, I come to it with a deep-seated commitment to evidence- and results-based solutions that must be country–led and scalable. As an anthropologist, I am trained to value local context, institutions and the interconnectedness of individuals and the broader economy in which they live. I know that solutions must be tailored to the local context and that we must listen to the aspirations of the people and countries that the World Bank serves.

A strong understanding of context will be critical to developing new ways to support transition countries, particularly in Middle East and North Africa, where many old assumptions have recently been challenged. A key test for the World Bank will be how it re-engages to help Arab transition economies achieve more inclusive growth.

Fourth, I have led a large, world-class knowledge institution. In this role, I have learned how to create an environment conducive to innovation and cooperation among a range of talented professionals. Many believe the World Bank’s role as a knowledge institution will grow in importance in the coming years, but the Bank must evolve in order to better share and deliver that knowledge to its clients. I am well-placed to steward this evolution.

Fifth, I am well-versed in developing new partnerships to address transnational challenges. My whole career has been spent working with a range of diverse actors to achieve solutions to cross-border problems such as tuberculosis and building strong communities in fragile states like Haiti. I would bring this same approach to the Bank, so it can play a more effective role in tackling global challenges. The Bank cannot address the issues of gender equality, climate change, conflict or food security by itself — it must work with others to achieve the outcomes we all seek. As I travel the world, I see a growing global consensus about the Bank’s importance in partnering with the private sector, civil society, private foundations and other actors.

Finally, my life experiences position me to serve as an effective bridge between different constituencies and their interests, helping to strengthen the multilateralism the World Bank embodies. I recognize that the interests of emerging economies, the United States, Europe and developing countries do not always converge. I was born in Korea, raised in the United States, and I’ve worked on several continents. I will bring a global orientation to my leadership, helping to build consensus to advance the mission of the World Bank.

If I were entrusted with the responsibility of leading this institution, you would find in me someone who asks hard questions about the status quo and is not afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies. You’d also find someone interested in listening — to the Board, to our clients, to staff both here and in the field and to stakeholders in the private sector and civil society. I’d bring rigor, objectivity, and a focus on data that help all of us define and achieve our shared vision of securing strong economic growth and delivering greater opportunity for the world’s poor.

Let us lift our sights. Let us focus on the broader purpose of creating a world that bends towards greater justice, towards greater inclusion, and towards greater dignity for all, especially the poor and most vulnerable.

Thank you.

The statement was published by the Council for Foreign Relations was founded by the Rockefellers and Colonel Mandel House.


“A Proposal of Incentives for Global Health.” http://www.yale.edu/macmillan/igh/about_us.html

“FDA and Big Pharma Finally Admit Liver Failure and Dysfunction a Side Effect of Cholesterol Lowering Statin Drugs Like Lipitor.” http://blog.younglivingcircle.com/2012/03/16/fda-and-big-pharma-finally-admit-liver-failure-and-dysfunction-a-side-effect-of-cholesterol-lowering-statin-drugs-like-lipitor/

“Paxil Lawsuit and Birth Defect Information.” http://www.drugwatch.com/paxil/lawsuit.php

“Statement by U.S. Nominee for the World Bank Presidency Dr. Jim Yong Kim to the World Bank Board of Directors.”http://www.cfr.org/world-bank/statement-us-nominee-world-bank-presidency-dr-jim-yong-kim-world-bank-board-directors/p27959

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