Illustration Entwicklungsbanken
World Bank & Co.

How banks endanger people & the environment with their projects

They are called the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. These multilateral development banks work on behalf of states. Germany is one of the most important shareholders. Time and again, many of the projects worth billions disregard human rights, destroy the environment and harm the climate. Together with our partners, we want to change this.

The World Bank in Guyana - Documentary

Carbon Bomb

Off the coast of Guyana and Suriname lies one of the largest crude oil discoveries in recent history: 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 960 billion cubic meters of natural gas lie dormant in the deep sea. ExxonMobil is the leading company in this massive oil production program. The company benefits from the fact that Guyana has received substantial budgetary and technical support from the World Bank to develop an oil sector. Together, "Big Oil" and the World Bank Group risk making Guyana the latest victim of the oil curse while further fueling the global climate crisis. Yet the country's existence is already massively threatened by rising seas. This is because the main settlement and arable areas lie two meters below the water level. Read more in this travel report:

Everything the World Bank is currently doing is to prepare the ground for investors and other financially powerful people in this world.

Urgewald Campaigner Knud Vöcking

Kurz erklärt: Was sind Beschwerdemechanismen?

Als zentrales Organ der Entwicklungspolitik bestimmt die Weltbank viel über den Inhalt und die Form konkreter entwicklungspolitischer Maßnahmen. Diese haben jedoch zu häufig negative Auswirkungen, wie zum Beispiel Menschenrechtsverletzungen oder Umweltschäden. Beschwerdemechanismen, wie das Inspection Panel der Weltbank, gelten in diesem Rahmen als Chance, Einfluss auf die Kreditvergabe zu nehmen. Sie sollen negativ betroffenen Menschen zu ihren Rechten verhelfen. urgewald arbeitet deshalb daran, die Beschwerdemechanismen und die zugrunde liegenden Umwelt- und Sozialstandards zu stärken.

Kurz in einer Grafik erklärt: Beschwerdemechanismen der Weltbank

Graphic Recording Beschwerdemechanismen

Gezeichnet von Eva Planet


Making the World Bank bigger before addressing its transparency and accountability deficits would be a disaster for our planet and its people. We demand a better bank first.

Ute Koczy, Senior Adviser at Urgewald

This is how Germany participates in multilateral banks (invested capital and voting share)

Map Germany and Multilateral Banks



Urgewald on the inauguration of World Bank President Ajay Banga: "No sign of real transformation"

The moment has come: today Ajay Banga takes office as World Bank President. The U.S. nominated the top executive at the end of February following the surprise resignation of David Malpass. Since the founding of the Bretton Woods institutions, as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are known, it has been accepted that the U.S. appoints the head of the World Bank, while European countries pick the leader of the IMF. This undemocratic practice continues to this day. There was no opposing candidate – let alone a female opponent. Despite strong criticism from civil society, on May 3, the 25 World Bank Executive Directors from the 189 member countries, including Germany, cleared the way for Banga after he had spent the last months holding talks in many countries.


    Bild Anprechpartner   Dr. Dustin Schäfer

    Dr. Dustin Schäfer
    Campaigns on Multilateral Development Financial Institutions, Focus: Accountability and Transparency
    dustin [at]

    Bild Anprechpartner   Ute Koczy

    Ute Koczy
    Campaigns and Multilateral Development Banks – main focus on World Bank
    ute.koczy [at]
    +49 (0)2583/30492-0

    Bild Anprechpartner   Knud Vöcking

    Knud Vöcking
    Campaigns on Multilateral Development Banks
    knud [at]
    +49 (0)2583/30492-14

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