Glossary:World Bank

The World Bank, created at the same time as the International Monetary Fund at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, is an international financial institution with the mission of aiding developing countries and their inhabitants to achieve development and reduce poverty by providing leveraged loans to developing countries for capital programs. The World Bank currently focuses on the achievement of the 'Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)'.

The World Bank comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Its parent organization, the World Bank Group, incorporates three more: the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 189 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 173 members (as of February 2019).

The IBRD is a market-based non-profit organization, lending primarily to 'middle-income' countries at interest rates only slightly higher than it has to pay for its own borrowings from capital markets; its high credit rating makes up for the relatively low interest rate on its loans. The IDA, on the other hand, is funded primarily by periodic grants voted to the institution by its more affluent member countries; it provides low or no-interest loans and grants to low-income countries with little or no access to international credit markets.

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