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Chad: Poorest of the poor

Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. Only ten developing countries in the world are poorer in terms of GDP per capita. But with desert covering much of this landlocked country of few natural resources, Chad had few options for improving its more

An opportunity for two countries

When oil reserves were discovered there in the mid-nineties, oil companies asked the World Bank to give its backing to one of the biggest projects in Africa---building a 1070 km pipeline to carry Chad’s petroleum to the Atlantic coast for export. The World Bank saw this as a unique opportunity for Chad to climb out of extreme more

Everyone agreed that the poverty reduction prospects for Chad were inextricably linked to how the country used the revenue from oil.  Before it could become involved, the World Bank needed assurances that the revenues would be used to lift Chadians out of more

Most of the pipeline crosses more densely populated Cameroon, richly endowed with tropical forests. While Cameroon benefits from more mineral resources, fertile agricultural land, and a more favorable climate than its neighbor Chad, nearly one-fifth of its population lived on less than $1 a day. Cameroon stood to gain an estimated US$500 million in direct revenues over the life of the project.

But the project entails some potential costs and setbacks. As a result, the World Bank’s involvement in the project triggered the application of the World Bank Group's strict environmental and social safeguard policies, along with broad public more

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