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World Bank


Washington, DC, USA


World Bank

Description: The World Bank Group is a global partnership of five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

The World Bank Group consists of five organizations. The most relevant of these for APOs is the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. The IFC helps developing countries by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
The Bank plays an important role in both promoting donor support for national policies and in coordinating donor development programs. It provides policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance – and its analytical work often supports World Bank financing and helps inform developing countries’ own investments.
The Bank’s work covers various sectors and themes, including these of particular relevance to APOs: agricultural extension and research; animal production and fisheries; education; health; biodiversity; environmental policies and institutions; natural resource management; nutrition and food security/global food security response; trade; rural development; disaster relief; and governance, public administration and justice (including policy advice).

Organization Type: International Financial Institution
Issue areas covered: General/Broad Focus, Farmed Animals, Fishing, Education, Health, Environment/Natural Resources, Food Policy
Key opportunities and dates for input: 
  • The IFC has published Good Practice Notes on Animal Welfare in Livestock Operations (in October 2006 and December 2014).
  • The Bank also has Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) which include animal husbandry and references the above IFC Good Practice Notes in relation to large-scale commercial farming. The ESS refers to Good International Industry Practice (GIIP).
  • The World Bank is now working to develop “Animal Welfare Good Practices in Agriculture Development” – also known as the “Wageningen Process”. This will be a long-term project, covering various species of farm animals, transport, slaughter and working equines.  WAN is on the Steering Group for the project, along with the World Bank, FAO, OIE and Wageningen University.
Advocacy Opportunities:
  • There are major advocacy opportunities for collaboration with the World Bank. These include collaboration with the in development of Animal Welfare Good Practice, and the subsequent implementation and spreading of this good practice.
  • The ESS and IFC’s Good Practice Notes are a good starting point for ensuring animal welfare is respected and protected in lending. However, there are many sectors where animal welfare could be affected, which are not included in the current wording. For example, Environmental and Social Standard 6 covers “Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources,” including the “harvesting of living natural resources” with no mention of animal welfare. It is important to push for future improvements/enhancements in these two resources. However, as both have been revised quite recently, this would need to wait a while.
  • Also, the IFCs Good Practice Note contains some big loopholes (towards the end in the "IFC’s Approach to Animal Welfare"), which may make implementation problematic. It may be fruitful to study implementation and the effect of these loopholes in practice, and to include in future advocacy a call for tighter wording, including the closure of loopholes, and an effective and open implementation process.
  • There is also possibility to influence other funders and international development organizations to develop/improve their animal welfare safeguards, using Animal Welfare Best Practice.
  • It is also important to advocate to improve the current implementation of the IFC Good Practice Note and the ESS.

Other important possibilities include:

  • Inclusion of animal welfare in national development plans (leading to policy advice and potentially development funding).
  • Influence of development policies and funding (away from animal welfare contentious issues, including factory farming, or even livestock farming other than small-scale farming).
  • Ensuring that compliance with the OIE’s international animal welfare standards is always a criterion (as a bare minimum).
  • The introduction of Animal Welfare Impact Assessments, similar to the Environmental Impact Assessment system.
  • Encouraging the Bank to use its policy influence amongst development partners to encourage the wider adoption of Animal Welfare Good Practice and animal welfare safeguards.

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