Saturday, November 6, 2010

The World Bank Is Quietly Funding a Massive Corporate Water Grab

Is there more to the Murray - Darling Basin water fiasco then meets the eye?

Here is a report from Scott Thill at 

"Even though water privatization has been a massive failure around the world, the World Bank just quietly gave $139 million to its latest corporate buddy.

Billions have been spent allowing corporations to profit from public water sources even though water privatization has been an epic failure in Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America, Africa and everywhere else it's been tried. But don't tell that to controversial loan-sharks at the World Bank

Last month, its private-sector funding arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) quietly dropped a cool 100 million euros ($139 million US) on Veolia Voda, the Eastern European subsidiary of Veolia, the world's largest private water corporation. Its latest target? Privatization of Eastern Europe's water resources.

The Philippines is an excellent example of water privatization's broken model. After passing the Water Crisis Act in 1995, the Philippines landed a $283 million privatization plan managed partially by multinational giants like Suez and Bechtel. After some success, everything fell apart after 2000, and it wasn't long before tariff prices repeatedly increased, water service and quality worsened, and public opposition skyrocketed. 

Today, some Filipinos still don't have water connections, tariffs have increased from 300 to 700 percent in some regions, and outbreaks of cholera and gastroenteritis have cost lives and sickened hundreds. "

The runaway cost increases sound a lot like the privatisation fiasco of electricity by the NSW Government in their headlong race to socialism! 

"In the past, the World Bank pushed privatization as the way to increase investment in basic infrastructure for water systems," said
Judy Gelbspan, senior program coordinator for private-sector watchdog Corporate Accountability Internationa.  "But since then bank officials have admitted that the transnational corporations don't want to invest in infrastructure, and instead want only to pare down operations and skim profits. The World Bank has lowered the bar, satisfied with so-called 'operational efficiency,' that cuts utility workforce, tightens up bill collections and shuts off people who can't pay."

See the full article at

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