21 June 2024

Proper EBRD policies can avoid further disgrace in Ukraine and elsewhere

As the EBRD looks to the year ahead, we urge the bank to take this opportunity to reframe its policies with human and environmental rights at their core, Alexandre Andrade Sampaio and Caitlin Daniel write.

Ukraine has been under a full-scale armed attack by Russian military forces since February 2022.

In the face of these dire circumstances, it is no secret that people need food, and all hands must be on deck when they face man-made and natural disasters.

In this context, it would be easy to justify that millions of Euros and U.S. dollars are poured into a factory farming project with the potential to feed large swaths of the population.

Or would it?

This is certainly the line of argument that is being used by development banks such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the US’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

These banks all invest in MHP, a Ukrainian agribusiness group that runs the Vinnytsia Poultry Farm, the largest in Europe, holding over 39 million chickens at a time – a capacity that is consistently growing.

To a general audience, this might mean that development banks are providing resources to guarantee food security and other basic rights for people living in a war-torn country. Unfortunately, a closer look reveals a different story.

Read the full op-ed on Euronews here.