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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is no longer considering funding Africa’s tallest dam, in Ethiopia. The hydroelectric dam, called Gibe III, has drawn international criticism because of the devastating effect it is likely to have on the food security of at least eight Ethiopian tribes.
In a statement, the EIB claims to have withdrawn from Gibe III because the Ethiopian government has found alternative funding sources for the dam. However the ICBC, the state-owned Chinese bank recently discussed as a potential funder, recently made it clear that the deal is not yet settled and far from guaranteed.
Before stepping back from Gibe III, the EIB completed a review of existing environment and social impact studies for the dam. The review confirms concerns from Survival and others that the lives of the tribes living in the Lower Omo Valley, downstream of Gibe III, will be fundamentally altered and their food security threatened if the dam is complete. The study also acknowledges that these tribes have not been adequately consulted.