WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar. 12—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is undertaking a major reform of its environmental, social and disclosure of information policies. The objective is to enhance the environmental and social performance and demonstration value of private sector projects in which the Corporation is involved.
IFC released the draft policies for public comment on January 30, 1998 and set an original deadline for receipt of comments of March 20, 1998. At the request of interested members of the public who wish to express their views, IFC has decided to extend the comment period until April 17, 1998.
The policy reforms are the result of lessons from IFC’s experience, feedback from non-governmental organizations and shareholder governments, and interactions with the Corporation’s business partners.
Key changes in the proposed policy and procedure include:
Clarification of environmental and social policies applying to IFC’s work in the private sector;
Increased focus on the social impacts of IFC projects;
Greater emphasis on public consultation with parties affected by IFC projects, and local release of project information;
Increased disclosure of environmental requirements associated with IFC financing;
More practical treatment of IFC investments in financial intermediaries with an increased focus on environmental risk management training; and,
Improved monitoring of projects in IFC’s investment portfolio.
IFC is encouraging interested members of the public and the environmental and business communities to participate in the final formulation of these policies and procedure by commenting on the draft proposals — available electronically via IFC’s internet website (www.ifc.org) and in paper copy from the World Bank’s Infoshop. IFC will consider comments received through April 17, 1998.