The World Bank Group lends about $40 billion annually to developing countries. Critics have claimed that some projects have harmed the environment and the local population. Title XIII of the International Financial Institutions Act of 1977 outlines in part the U.S. government's requirements for reviewing potential environmental and social impacts of proposed multilateral development bank projects. GAO was asked to assess the U.S. government's international environmental oversight efforts by examining (1) how U.S. agencies implement legislative requirements to review the potential environmental concerns associated with proposed World Bank Group projects, and (2) agencies' ability to identify and address these concerns. To maximize interagency contributions to evaluating World Bank Group proposals, GAO recommends that the Secretary of the Treasury routinely identify all proposals of concern in advance of interagency working group meetings.
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