Oxfam urges freeze of land investments

Global development group Oxfam on Wednesday called on the World Bank to suspend financing for large-scale land acquisitions to ensure that its practices do not encourage foreign land grabs in developing countries. Oxfam urged Jim Yong Kim, the lender’s new president, to announce a six-month moratorium on land investments by the bank at meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Tokyo next week. … Oxfam said the World Bank was in a unique position as both a financier, through its private-sector lending arm the International Finance Corp, and adviser to developing countries to ensure land deals are transparent and not forcing local communities off land they have farmed for generations. … Oxfam said, however, a moratorium would give the World Bank time to “put its own house in order” and send a clear signal to governments and investors it would not tolerate land grabbing.