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NGO Forum on ADB urges AIIB to extend ESF Consultation Deadline

Updated: May 10, 2020

NGO Forum on ADB along with its network members around the world strongly urges the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to delay phase 1 of the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) review consultation. The said phase 1 consultation is scheduled to close on February 28, 2020, according to the Bank’s website. The Forum network stated that as CSOs who has extensively participated in the bank’s consultation process in the past, the network has not yet received a formal response in terms of the approach for this review from the ESF drafting team and AIIB Management. Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director of the Forum asked: “Given that the AIIB has approved over 60 projects, will the bank evaluate the extent to which they all adhered to ESF requirements?” He went on and explained, “considering that there is a relatively small volume of projects approved and implemented, the AIIB can easily craft an Approach Paper which will detail its methodology and how it will review the ESF vis - a- vis with the portfolio”. There still remain questions on AIIB ESF delivery and time-bound information disclosure of projects. Has the bank conducted an internal evaluation of the operational delivery of its ESF? Without having a clear sense of how the AIIB is approaching the scope of the ESF review it seems that the process for soliciting inputs is being rushed. “The bank is fully aware of the issues raised by CSOs and the communities on issues of lack of information, meaningful consultation and land acquisition to name a few. This ESF review should be an opportunity to rectify any policy gaps in the ESF and its implementation,” Annabel Perreras, NGO Forum on ADB’s Advocacy Coordinator on AIIB.  “The AIIB can no longer use the narrative that it is a new bank with limited staff and doing an approach in the guise of “efficiency”. AIIB should reconsider how it would want to undertake this process,” Perreras added. It also needs to be noted that the consultation notice on the AIIB website was released mid - January with inputs being requested by 28 February 2020, which is extremely short notice for gathering informed, constructive and useful inputs to the ESF review. The network is hoping that the AIIB will extend the Phase 1 deadline for at least two more weeks for inputs until the end of March 2020.



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