CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Sub-Saharan Africa

Liberia / Salala Rubber Corporation-01/Margibi and Bong

Complainant
Community members from twenty-two communities located in the Margibi and Bong counties in Liberia (Confidential)
Date Filed
May 27, 2019
Concerns
Land grab and forced eviction, lack of consultation, economic displacement and loss of livelihood, employment conditions and labor rights violations, water pollution, gender-based violence and threats of reprisals and intimidation
Case Status
Open - Compliance
 

Synopsis

Project Overview  

IFC has an active project with Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) which is Liberia’s fourth largest rubber producing and processing company. IFC provided a $10 million A Loan to SRC, to finance SRC’s plans to rehabilitate, expand, and optimize its plantations, which had been neglected during several years of civil war in Liberia.

 

Complaint 

On May 27, 2019, a complaint was submitted to CAO by four NGOs representing twenty-two communities from the Margibi and Bong counties in Liberia, who have requested their identities be kept confidential. The complaint raises concerns related to land grab and forced eviction, lack of consultation, economic displacement and loss of livelihood, employment conditions and labor rights violations, water pollution, gender-based violence and threats of reprisals and intimidation.  

 

CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in June 2019 and conducted a field visit to Liberia in October 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During CAO’s assessment, the Complainants indicated their willingness to engage in a dispute resolution process facilitated by CAO, however the Company raised concerns about the CAO process and the partiality of CAO’s team.  Given these concerns, the Company indicated a willingness to engage with the impacted community, but not in a CAO led dispute resolution process. In keeping with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO’s Compliance function.  

In September 2020, CAO completed a compliance appraisal of the case and decided that an investigation was warranted in relation to the issues raised in the complaint. In reaching this decision, CAO noted that the alleged environmental and social impacts are serious in nature and, while IFC’s documentation indicates many of these issues were identified, it is not clear whether they were effectively addressed or resolved in accordance with IFC’s standards during IFC’s pre-investment due diligence and supervision. 

 

Status

CAO will conduct a compliance investigation in response to this complaint. The Terms of Reference defining the scope of the investigation in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines and other case related reports can be found via the "View Documents" tab. 

 

The compliance investigation is underway.
 

Status as of November 25 2020

 

Project information

Institution
IFC
Project Name & Number
Salala Rubber Corporation 26510
Company
Salala Rubber Corporation
Sector
Natural Fibers
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Country
Liberia
Environmental Category
B
Commitment
$10 million A Loan

Case Tracker

Ombudsman

  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed

Compliance

  • Under Appraisal: Completed
  • Under Audit: In Process

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