- Anti-poverty campaigners have lashed out at World Bank decision to terminate Chad-Cameroon pipeline saying it failed to benefit the poor of both countries.
World Bank has decided to abandon pipeline, accusing president Idriss Deby's administration for failing to meet its commitments to allocate funds to health, education and rural-development projects.
A coalition of human rights and environmental groups accused World Bank for withdrawing US $4 billion production pipeline, which started pumping crude from landlocked Chad in 2003 carrying 170,000 barrels per day.
Coalition said termination of funding is disasterous, saying it would contribute to impoverishing Chad's people, and further would add to a new member to petro-dictatorship.
"The bank withdraws from this project without too much loss," rights coalition said in its criticism, noting that Chad this month prepaid to the lender outstanding balance of U$65.7 million under US $140 million loan deal.
World bank accused president Deby's of using Chadian oil money to finance rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur which is fighting Sudanese government in the war-torn region.
"This bad use of funds is in this way worsening the suffering of the people of Darfur and of the refugees inside Chad's borders," statement said.
Under original agreement, Chad received net royalties of 12.5 percent on oil sales from pipeline and agreed to target 80 percent of that on programmes in education, health care, social services and rural development.
Former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz halted lending to Chad in January 2006 and froze a dollar account at Citibank in London, after government made a grab for oil revenues by altering an oil law to access more of profits.
Relations were restored in April 2006 when agreement was renegotiated and government promised to allocate 70 percent of budget spending in 2007 for programmes for poor.
Project was one of World Bank's biggest investments in Africa and billed as a test case on how Africa's oil wealth could benefit the poor if spent properly.
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