The World Bank Group (WBG) has proposed a new policy approach for engagement on palm oil which will substantially alter the Group’s current approach and runs counter with the Bank’s response to the impending global food crisis. It will erect new conditions for financing, create a new and more onerous set of preconditions for financing, establish a de facto regulatory role for the World Bank, and skew Bank lending and support away from its development mission. The framework will restrict Bank lending to development of palm oil and endorses the concept of restricting use of forest land for agricultural development. This runs counter to the World Bank’s own Global Food Crisis Response Program announced two years ago in response to the emerging global food crisis, which advocates support for broad-based growth in productivity and market participation in agriculture.
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