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Dutch development bank FMO now has a grievance mechanism

Through the new established mechanism, people affected by a project financed by the FMO can submit a complaint and enter into mediation with FMO's client, or request that independent experts perform an assessment to determine whether the FMO has complied with its policies.

Several NGOs provided input to FMO on the establishment of the Mechanism. They mainly emphasized the importance of structuring it in a way that would guarantee a high level of independence from FMO's management, making it accessible to complainants so as to reduce the barriers to filing a complaint, ensuring transparency in its operations, and making it effective in providing fair and positive results for affected communities and holding the FMO accountable.

In a joint statement, the NGOs list several positive features of the mechanism, including the fact that complaints are accepted in the national language of complainants, flexibility to conduct an investigation prior to mediation or vice versa, and sufficient independence given to the experts.

The joint statement also highlight issues for improvement, including the fact that complaints are only accepted if they are filed within one year from the date upon which the facts alleged in the complaint could have reasonably been known by the complainants, the unclear definition of 'substantial' impact, and that the mechanism cannot review complaints against the OECD Guidelines.

For the joint NGO statement, please click here.