World Bank stops funds for Cambodia over evictions

The World Bank said on Tuesday it had stopped providing loans to Cambodia and would not resume lending until the government did something to help hundreds of families facing eviction from land around a lake in the country’s capital, Phnom Penh. “The World Bank’s last loan to Cambodia was in December 2010,” Country Director Annette Dixon said in a statement. “Until an agreement is reached with the residents of Boeung Kak Lake, we do not expect to provide any new lending to Cambodia,” she said. In the past few years, the World Bank has lent Cambodia about $50-70 million annually. It has repeatedly asked for the evictions to stop. Forced evictions are a major problem in Cambodia, with an estimated 30,000 people a year driven from farmland or urban areas to make way for real estate developments or mining and agricultural projects.