Norfund invested in controversial hydropower development in Guatemala. Now the state owned fund has pulled out. Local resistance was not listened to in the first place.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende (Conservatives) has given the state owned investment fund for developing countries (Norfund), a significant amount of fresh capital. The fund is to become an important development tool.
While Norfund sharpens their focus on clean energy, admits CEO of Norfund, Kjell Roland , that they made a huge miscalculation in Guatemala – the only Latin American country where poverty has increased since the turn of the millennium, up to 30 percent of the population are now living in extreme poverty:
– In 2011 we decided to provide a loan to the hydroelectric plant Hidro Santa Cruz in Guatemala. It was a mistake from our side because we had not realized that the hydropower plant was located in an area dominated by indigenous peoples. The project was later stopped due to local opposition. Unfortunately, this means that the local villages still has no electric power, Roland writes in an article published by Bistandsaktuelt.no.
Source: vl.no / Norway Today