World Bank may be blind to harm of financial investments -Oxfam
* About 60 pct of IFC portfolio in financial intermediaries
* Oxfam says hard to track development impact
* IFC says clients must comply with standards
By Anna Yukhananov
WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - The World Bank's private sector arm may be doing more harm than good when it invests in private equity firms, banks and other financial intermediaries, global development group Oxfam said in a report on Wednesday.
In one project indirectly sponsored by the bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), 164 villagers in Cambodia lost their plots and thousands of others suffered when a Vietnamese company expanded plantations to their land.
In another high-profile case, the IFC's own watchdog criticized a loan to the largest bank in Honduras, whose clients included a palm oil company tied to land disputes and killings.
"By channeling funds through third parties, the IFC loses control of how the money is eventually spent," Oxfam said. "It has little proof of positive development outcomes."
The IFC directed about 63 percent of its $17 billion of commitments in the last fiscal year to financial intermediaries in developing countries, to leverage its money to reduce poverty and boost economic growth. Continuación...