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The World Bank Group has consistently upheld its goal of protecting human rights in countries that borrow from the organization. Unfortunately, the WBG has not been successful in all cases, since the corrupt governments of many nations, more specifically the undeveloped nations, tend to exploit funds and infringe upon the rights of their citizens. One case of an infringement can be seen in the Ethiopian case. Ethiopia has violated many human rights but continues to gain support and funds from the World Bank for agricultural reforms and energy sectors. Their implementation of a “villagization,” program, which is essentially in place to move citizens, is another example of this infringement.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is one of the recipients of financial aid from the World Bank. The WBG’s investment in Bhutan is primarily focused on urban, rural and private sector development, along with wildlife conservation, that have a net commitment of $82 billion in International Development Association funds. In addition, several programs are also in place within Bhutan. Bhutan’s poverty rate has decreased fro 36% to 23%, and the inflation is continuous. However, like many developing nations, Bhutan faces domestic issues with regards to human rights. The ethnic group of Lhotshampas were expelled from Bhutan due to ethnic differences and settled in Nepal. The Nepalese government does not permit citizenship for Bhutanese refugees, however, so many are still displaced and do not have any country to belong to. There is a Bhutan Transparency Initiative Core Group in place since 2013 in Bhutan that aims to “promote transparency in Bhutan and evolve into a reference actor related to understanding, analyzing and acting for transparency, accountability and anti-corruption issues in Bhutan.” This organization was established through a volunteer cooperation, but still is in the process of having greater influence and promoting proper utilization of funds.
In accordance with country conflicts, like the ones prevalent in Bhutan, the World Bank should be in the pursuit of human rights when considering where to fund. Due to the corruption and poor state of many nations, funds are being misused, so as the BTI, the World Bank needs to implement programs, within the existing governments and organization of the nations, to ensure transparency and ethical usage of IDA funds. The suspension of funds in a certain nation, though in theory seems like a good initiative to get the nation to stray from corrupted policies, is ultimately harmful to the citizens of the nations. The primary goal of the World Bank is to end poverty, so in order to do so, the funds need to go to organizations, like the BTI, which are citizen-based and will ensure proper usage, rather than governments that are notoriously corrupt. By this approach, the World Bank would be retaining ethical values and practices, while truly benefitting the citizens that need it. As for detection of human rights violations, the World Bank can install programs that would allow for average citizens to voice the practices in their nations that they might be suspicious. Relying on citizen voices would allow the World Bank to refrain form infringement on sovereignty and gain sufficient evidence of any violations.
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