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IFC watchdog to review Cambodia's microcredit lenders

NGOs say World Bank lending arm caused 'grave harm' in backing the sector

Cambodia has the highest per capita microloan sizes in the world, more than 95% of Cambodians' annual incomes on average. (Source photos by AP) 

PHNOM PENH -- The watchdog of the International Finance Corp., the World Bank's private lending arm, has agreed to review a complaint alleging it has caused "grave harm" by funding microcredit lenders in Cambodia.

The complaint, filed by two Cambodian NGOs on behalf of "affected borrowers," was made public on Tuesday. It alleges that IFC loans and investments in the country's $14 billion microcredit sector have led to human rights abuses and breached the IFC's own performance standards.

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