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16 Feb 2005

Amy Kazmin & Andrew Balls, Financial Times

Dam project in Laos acts as test case for World Bank

The World Bank's board will be asked in the next few weeks to endorse a $1.3bn dam in Laos worth nearly as much as the gross domestic product of one of the world's poorest countries...The Nam Theun 2 dam is a test case of the leading development institution's intention to return to the funding of large-scale infrastructure...Its approval of a project led by Electricité de France would be motivated by a belief that such projects are needed to promote growth and combat poverty...At the bank's insistence, the consortium will compensate those affected, as well as building homes and securing work for those who are relocated.