10 Jul 2003

World Bank rejects claims it will pull out of PNG

3:32 pm on 10 July 2003

The World Bank says claims that it is dictating to the Papua New Guinea government and using funding as leverage are wrong and misrepresent the institution's role in the country.

This comes after the conservation group Forest Watch claimed the World Bank would pull out at the end of the month and withdraw its funding support to PNG.

Forest Watch said the withdrawal is to protest the government's non-compliance with certain conditions relating to the timber industry and differences over the Forest Conservation Project.

The Bank's Regional Communication Manager, Peter Stephens says the World Bank is committed to ensuring that the government's objectives are achieved.

He says the World Bank is supportive of PNG's economic goals and that their relationship is productive.

"this whole notion that has been swirling around that somehow the world bank has been issuing an ultimatum and threatening to pull out and close down and leave the country and that sort of thing that is such an extraordinary exaggeration that it just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the position and the way we work... that's just not the sort of relationship we have"

The World Bank's Peter Stephens in Singapore.