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13 Jun 2016

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

IFC refers complaint over environmental, labour and health impacts of Titan Cement Egypt to Ombudsman as company refuses to negotiate

Titan Cement in Alexandria refuses to negotiate with workers and residents, World Bank ombudsman office refers complaint to Compliance, 24 May 2016

On May 11, 2016, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), an independent mechanism of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), subordinate to the World Bank, referred a complaint against the Alexandria Portland Cement (Titan) to compliance officials. The compliance officials will determine whether IFC carried out the necessary environmental and social due diligence with Titan Cement… A group of local residents, former workers at the plant, and non-governmental organizations filed a complaint in April 2015 with the CAO against Titan’s violation of [IFC] standards, particularly those related to pollution and its impact on health and safety, Titan’s violation of local laws and rights, labor conditions, and failure to disclose information and consult with the local community… Although a large number of the complainants agreed to negotiate with Titan to settle the dispute, the company rejected the idea […], announcing that it did not consider the complainants legitimate representatives of the local community and stakeholders… Alexandria Portland Cement has for years [allegedly] caused health problems for local residents, who have filed numerous complaints with various competent bodies and have sought redress in court, but to no avail. The plant began using coal as fuel, despite its location in the heart of a residential area, which has only compounded the environmental and hazardous health impacts on the population and surrounding industries.