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Response to the World Bank's decision for funding large infrastructure projects

Washington - Carter S. Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), issued the following statement in response to the World Bank's decision to integrate its department responsible for funding large infrastructure project like dams and roads, with its department which funds environmental projects:

"Infrastructural development must be undertaken with world-class environmental protection to ensure sustainable livelihoods for people. The Bank's new integration holds this possibility."

"By more closely integrating environmental protection with economic development, the Bank stands to further enhance its already important role in the struggle against global poverty. The Bank is currently a leader in that effort, lending more than $16 billion per year to countries harboring some of the world's most important biological resources and treasures. Applying world class environmental standards to large development projects will enable the Bank to take a significant step towards helping millions of impoverished people escape the curse of poverty. WWF stands ready to work with the Bank to make this vision a reality."