On Friday, the long awaited policy note by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag was published. The note was the outcome of a process of consultation, scientific analysis and much discussion within and outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We searched for the spirit underlying it: What trends does this minister consolidate and deepen? What is new? Are those new aspects a superficial change of discourse or a genuine break with the past? On what issues is the paper silent and what do those silences tell us?
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank will donate $23 million to the Philippines, but will also provide a loan of $500 million to this country for the reconstruction of the areas damaged by the storm. According to ‘NGO Forum on ADB,’ Both ENDS’ partner organisation, these banks abuse this crisis. The debt will have to be repaid with interest and Philippine society will end up paying the price.
This week the European Investment Bank (EIB), or ‘Europe’s house bank’, presented a concept policy note which outlines future policies on loans in the energy sector provided by the bank. Network organisations CEE Bankwatch and Counter Balance, both of which Both ENDS is a member, monitor policies and investments of the EIB. They find the new proposal very disappointing and have therefore sent a press release. Huub Scheele from Both ENDS, who has been working with our colleagues from CEE Bankwatch and Counter Balance for years, explains why.
And will James Amaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, ask the Panama government to halt the construction of the disastrous dam for the time being? This is what Both ENDS calls for in a letter to mr. Anaya, together with 12 civil society organizations, including four from Panama. It’s urgent because the Barro Blanco Dam, planned in the Tabasará river, is destructive to the Ngäbe indians.