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Article

16 Jul 2014

Author:
Ellie Violet Bramley, Guardian (UK)

World Bank and aid donors accused of enabling land grabs

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"World Bank and aid donors accused of enabling land grabs", 21 May 2014

In a report published on Tuesday, the NGO ActionAid says public money and policy incentives such as tax breaks and cut-price loans are facilitating land deals that threaten the lives and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in poor countries. ActionAid warns that the consequences of such deals, which are too often happening behind closed doors and with little or no consultation with local communities, include "forced evictions, human rights violations, lost livelihoods, divided communities ... rising food insecurity and, ultimately, increased poverty"...A spokesman for the World Bank said it was also concerned about the risks of large-scale land deals and stressed that it did not support investments that took advantage of weak institutions in developing countries. ActionAid's report says weak governance and regulation of land use and agricultural investments have left millions of smallholder farmers and indigenous people in vulnerable situations "lack[ing] recognition over their land rights, even if they have resided in or used the area for generations"...ActionAid's report also looks at how governments of developing countries are facilitating large-scale land deals through direct intervention in sales and lease agreements, and by introducing public policy incentives such as tax holidays for agribusiness investors.

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