The World Bank is a source of financial and technical assistance for developing countries, helping them to reduce poverty and funding programmes in areas such as education, health, infrastructure, communications and government reforms.
The Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs is in charge of coordination with international financial institutions. He takes part, as an observer, in the Development Committee of the World Bank, while the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance acts as his stand-in. The Commission coordinates relations with the World Bank to ensure a consistent approach towards developing countries. It closely follows the discussions on, and implementation of, the international debt strategy, in particular in the light of the substantial contribution of the European Union to the debt initiative for highly indebted poor countries (HIPC).
In addition to sub-Saharan Africa, a common priority, co-operation between the Commission and the World Bank has been important in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and continues to play an important role in the Mediterranean region. Also, along with the EIB and other international financial institutions, the World Bank participates in the different Memoranda of Understanding with the Commission for the Western Balkans, the Newly Independent States and the Mediterranean region. The Community is a large contributor to World Bank with a contribution amounting to nearly € 0.5 billion per year.