Pakistan: Bank Information Center publishes report on social & environmental impacts of AIIB-funded Tarbela 5 hydropower extension

Author: Bank Information Center, Published on: 20 April 2017

"The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Tarbela 5 hydropower extension project, Pakistan", Apr 2017

The Tarbela 5 hydropower extension project in Pakistan is one of the first investments made by… Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)…Project documents point out the benefits: “The Project will provide a low cost, clean, renewable energy option in a relatively short period of time…But a deeper look at Tarbela 5 shows a landscape and community that have suffered extreme harms that have not yet been righted. Tens of thousands of people were displaced in the 1970s and 1990s by two mega hydropower projects, Tarbela and Gazi Brarotha…To this day many thousands of families remain impoverished and are still seeking fair compensation and redress for their losses.

The AIIB has recognised this and has committed that its $300 million investment in Tarbela 5 will not only contribute to the new construction, but also address “social legacy issues” from the previous projects . Like its co-investor, the World Bank, the AIIB classifies Tarbela 5 as high risk, or Category A.

The Tarbela 5 project presents a significant challenge to the new bank. It is a hands-on opportunity for the AIIB to learn from the mistakes of the past and right the many existing wrongs of previous projects. It is also a test of the AIIB’s environmental and social safeguards…

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