Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Nicole Ghio (email@example.com) 202-675-6270
As the World Bank and IMF hold their Annual Spring Meetings this week, the General Secretary of Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS – Association for the Struggle for Fishworkers’ Rights) Dr.Bharat Patel will deliver a petition to World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim and the Executive Directors on behalf of thousands of fishworkers affected by the Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India – a 4000 MW project co-financed by World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In 2011, the communities affected by the project complained to the accountability mechanism of IFC, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). The petition was started on Change.org in response to Dr. Kim’s failure to hold the IFC accountable after the CAO found that the IFC violated its Performance Standards when financing the project.
Signed by nearly 24,000 people across the globe, the petition states: “Despite such a scathing report, we are disappointed that you have not taken any action. By not acknowledging the violations committed by IFC, and by not taking any immediate corrective actions, you are letting the violations to continue.”
“We are happy that there are thousands of people who support our demand for appropriate actions on the CAO report. We hope the World Bank President will not disappoint us and will take actions on the CAO findings,” the woman petitioner and fishworker Aminaben said.
Dr. Patel had this to say about today’s petition delivery: “This is a part of our ongoing demands to draw President Kim’s attention on the serious issues of Tata Mundra. He made a promise to the public last year that the Bank will not dilute its safeguard and will uphold its accountability. Over 25,000 project affected fishing and farming populations in India have yet to see him fulfill that promise.”
The petition has three demands for Dr. Kim:
- To recognize the IFC policy violations and the serious impacts Tata Mundra has had on local communities, as confirmed by the CAO audit;
- To develop remedial action plan that has a clear timeline, specific targets and measurable indicators to address restoration and reparation needs;
- And to withdraw IFC funding immediately from the Tata coal plant and rule out funding for project expansion.
The petition continues to gather signatures at Change.org/JimKim.