World Bank-Linked Watchdog to Probe Alleged Cambodian Microfinance Abuses

The watchdog of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private lending arm, will review a complaint alleging it has caused “grave harm” by funding microfinance lenders in Cambodia.

The complaint was made by the local advocacy groups LICADHO and Equitable Cambodia (EC), who announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman had agreed to look into their claims that IFC loans and investments in the country’s ballooning microcredit sector have led to widespread human rights abuses.

The complaint, which the two groups made on behalf of hundreds of thousands of debt-burdened Cambodians, alleges that the IFC has “failed in its obligation to conduct due diligence and supervise projects to ensure compliance with performance standards.”

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