Liberia: Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC)-01/Margibi & Bong Counties
Community members from twenty-two communities located in the Margibi and Bong counties in Liberia (Confidential)
Land grab and forced eviction, lack of consultation, economic displacement and loss of livelihood, employment conditions and labor rights violations, water pollution, gender-based violence and threats of reprisals and intimidation
IFC has an active project with Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) which is Liberia’s fourth largest rubber producing and processing company. IFC provided a $10 million A Loan to SRC, to finance SRC’s plans to rehabilitate, expand, and optimize its plantations, which had been neglected during several years of civil war in Liberia.
On May 27, 2019, a complaint was submitted to CAO by four NGOs representing twenty-two communities from the Margibi and Bong counties in Liberia, who have requested their identities be kept confidential. The complaint raises concerns related to land grab and forced eviction, lack of consultation, economic displacement and loss of livelihood, employment conditions and labor rights violations, water pollution, gender-based violence and threats of reprisals and intimidation.
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in June 2019 and conducted a field visit to Liberia in October 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During CAO’s assessment, the Complainants indicated their willingness to engage in a dispute resolution process facilitated by CAO; however, the Company raised concerns about the CAO process and the partiality of the CAO’s team. Given these concerns, the Company indicated a willingness to engage with the impacted community, but not in a CAO-led dispute resolution process. In keeping with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO’s Compliance function.
In September 2020, CAO completed a compliance appraisal of the case and decided that an investigation was warranted in relation to the issues raised in the complaint. In reaching this decision, CAO noted that the alleged environmental and social impacts are serious in nature, and while IFC’s documentation indicates many of these issues were identified, it is not clear whether they were effectively addressed or resolved by IFC’s standards during IFC’s pre-investment due diligence and supervision.
CAO will conduct a compliance investigation in response to this complaint. The Terms of Reference defining the scope of the investigation in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines and other case-related reports can be found in the "Case Documents" section below.
The compliance investigation is underway.
Status as of November 25, 2020