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World Bank grant could ‘exacerbate’ problems in border regions

Aug 14, 2012

Civil society groups have urged the World Bank to exercise caution before pressing ahead with their plans to pump $85 million into community projects in Burma’s conflict-torn border regions or risk “exacerbating” local problems.

Campaigners have criticised the Bank for claiming that locals will be able to “decide whether to invest in schools, roads, water or other projects” without disclosing details of their consultation plans, transparency provisions and whether they have conducted a conflict-assessment.

“Burma’s ethnic conflicts are complex and the ongoing ceasefire negotiations are fragile, so if the World Bank is looking into providing assistance they need to publish this information,” said Khin Ohmar from Burma Partnership. “That kind of money can easily exacerbate problems or even create more different types of conflicts within the communities.”

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