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Much movement in the right direction is thanks to groups like Food and Water Watch and American Farmland Trust. (in No Turkeys Here)
Mark Bittman

International Bank Policy

READ OUR RECENT REPORT
Dried Up, Sold Out
Dried Up, Sold Out:
How the World Bank‚ Push for Private Water Harms the Poor

Food & Water Watch is keeping an eye on international financial institutions that provide water loans to governments in developing countries. Institutions like the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank place conditions on loans requiring privatization of utilities and increased consumer prices for essential services (often called cost-recovery). Over and over again we have seen private companies perform worse than public ones when it comes to providing this essential service. In developing countries, where most of the population makes less than $2 a day, increased water prices mean that families are forced to make daily trade-offs between essential goods such as water, food, clothing, school fees and health care.

Corporations reap more protection and greater power from various trade and investment agreements, measures and rules. The World Bank promotes them, governing bodies turn the agreements into law, and international arbitration tribunals enforce the corporate friendly rules. “Challenging Corporate Investor Rule” exposes how these trade and investment agreements work against consumers interests, and how they undermine environmental and social safeguards.