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A cornerstone of our work on investment projects is helping to ensure strong protections for people and for the environment. We help do this through policies – often called “safeguards” – that serve to identify, avoid, and minimize harms to people and the environment. These policies require borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive Bank support for investment projects.
Examples of these requirements include conducting environmental and social impact assessments, consulting with affected communities about potential project impacts, and restoring the livelihoods of displaced people. World Bank safeguards are widely regarded as an effective way to ensure that environmental and social concerns and community voices are represented in the design and implementation of our projects.
There are 11 key Operational Policies and associated Bank Procedures that are critical to ensuring that potentially adverse environmental and social consequences are identified, minimized, and mitigated, and they receive particular attention during the Bank’s project preparation and approval process.
Performance Standards for Private Sector Projects Supported by IBRD/IDA
On June 26, 2012, the Board of Executive Directors approved adoption and application of World Bank Performance Standards to be used for Bank financing or support (e.g., Partial Risk Guarantees) which is destined to projects, or components thereof, that are owned, constructed, and/or operated by the private sector, in place of the World Bank environmental and social Safeguard Policies (R2012-0130;IDA/R2012-0161).
Technical assistance for preparatory work for private sector engagement in Public-Private Partnerships would be eligible, as well as investment operations that include medium -or long-term management contracts, affermage/leases, privatizations, concessions, and projects within the Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) family. Financial Intermediary lending also is a candidate, provided the Bank lending or guarantee to the financial intermediary is designated for subprojects implemented by the private sector or private parties.