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What is World Bank?

Civics | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

The World Bank is an international organisation dedicated to providing finance, advice and research to developing nations to aid their economic advancement.

The Bank predominantly acts as an organisation that attempts to fight poverty by offering developmental assistance to middle class and poor income countries for capital programs.

How does the World Bank work?

The World Bank is based in Washington DC. The United States and United Kingdom are the two most powerful countries in attendance and dominate negotiations.

The largest shareholders of the World Bank are France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America. The other countries’ presence as shareholders is based on the size of their economy.

The President of the World Bank

Although the Presidents of the World Bank have traditionally been American, there have been a few instances of non – American presidents.

Current president of the World Bank

The current 12th President is Jim Yong Kim, a South Korean born American physician, who is serving his second term. His development priorities include launching several innovative financial instruments including facilities to address infrastructure needs to prevent pandemics and help millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict and violence.

How is the World Bank organised?

Due to growing membership and needs, the World Bank expanded and consists of five different agencies which are :

  1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – Funded by sales of bonds in international capital markets, the IBRD provides assistance to middle income countries.
  2. The International Development Association – Provides policy advice, interest free loans and technical advice to countries with a per capita income lesser than $885.
  3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – Finances private sector investments.
  4. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – Helps encourage foreign investments and investment opportunities, by providing guarantees to foreign investors against loss caused by non – commercial risks in developing countries.
  5. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes – Settles any disputes that may arise between foreign investors and host countries.
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