While the World Bank has forged a global identity for itself lending to governments around the world for more than 70 years, its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), remains less well known.
With the growing push for private investment in developing countries, the IFC has expanded rapidly in recent years, lending to companies and private sector projects around the world. Human rights groups and former bank officials say the IFC takes greater risks and is less accountable than its higher profile counterpart.
Many of its controversial investments involve loans to middlemen, such as banks, hedge funds and private equity firms, where the final recipient of the money remains unknown.
International Finance Corporation’s 2014 annual lending commitments
(a 36 percent increase since 2010)
Estimated number of IFC projects with possible economic or physical displacement
(2004 – 2013)
The amount the IFC invested in “fragile and conflict-affected situations” in 2014.
The IFC says it will ramp up investments in these regions by 50 percent
between 2012 and 2016
The proportion of the IFC’s portfolio invested in financial intermediaries in 2014,
rather than directly funding projects
The proportion of “high-risk” loans to financial intermediaries since 2012 that disclosed
the final recipients of the money, according to an analysis by
the anti-poverty group Oxfam
The number of killings linked to land conflict in Honduras’ Bajo Aguán valley,
according to a special prosecutor.
The amount the IFC loaned to the Dinant Corporation, a key protagonist in the
violent land conflicts, in 2009. It was part of $30 million loan originally
approved by the IFC. The remaining $15 million installment
has thus far been withheld.
The amount the IFC loaned to Banco Ficohsa, a Honduran bank that would then go on
to lend $39 million to the Dinant conglomerate.
Read more about the impact from ICIJ's investigations, and find out how you can support important investigations like this one
Find out first! Receive ICIJ's investigations by email