June 8, 2020

The World Bank – exporting toxic waste to underdeveloped countries. 


In 1991, the World Bank’s chief economist Lawrence Summers wrote an internal memo suggesting rather ironically, “shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]?”  (1)

The World Bank it seems, wasted no time in spearheading this proposition which continues today.  After the publication of this memo, Mr Summers career continued to grow from strength to strength peaking with his appointment the US Treasury secretary on July 2nd 1999 under the Clinton administration. 


The bank has for several decades financed & lobbied for agricultural themed projects with their core based upon the  extensive use of toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals include the infamous DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), Lindane & Parquat.(2)

In 1989, it funded the Amazon Basin Malaria Control Project to the tune of almost $100 million to stem the dramatic spread of Malaria in Amazonia. Notably this project implemented the use of over 3000 tons of a 75% concentrate of DDT pesticide. 

For reasons not articulated by the bank, they chose to ignore the rather enormously important  fact that DDT is banned by more countries than other used pesticide. 

In Brazil for instance, the use of DDT is strictly prohibited in any agricultural environments. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency  – EPA, prohibited the use of DDT  owing to the mounting evidence  DDT’s detrimental impact on wildlife was well as the growth of tutors in animals. DDT is rightly classified as a probable carcinogen because of this. 

This however, was not a sufficiently good  enough reason to abandon the financing and use of DDT by the World Bank.

The bank has also been shown by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) to actively be funding medical waste incineration units that generated dioxin, mercury and other pollution. (3)A known carcinogen linked to birth defects & immune suppression, Dioxin is a powerful poison.  Mercury too has been shown to interfere with fatal development in several studies.

The World Bank continues to pursue the promotion of detrimental chemicals exclusively in developing countries with alarming ease. 

These projects while banned in the United States are promoted by World Bank funding in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe.


The delayed but much called for forensic auditing of the World Bank should be  in the the higher counts of priority at the International Court of  Justice should they have the time to spare amidst their ongoing spat with Washington. 




1 – http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/summers.html

 2 – http://www.whirledbank.org/environment/agriculture.html

3 – http://www.essentialaction.org/waste/worldbank.html