The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.
We are not a bank in the common sense; we are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 187 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
Each institution plays a different but collaborative role in advancing the vision of inclusive and sustainable globalization. The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses on the world’s poorest countries.
Their work is complemented by that of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Together, we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture and environmental and natural resource management.
The World Bank, established in 1944, is headquartered in Washington, D. C. We have more than 10,000 employees in more than 100 offices worldwide.
Innovating from Within
To ensure countries continue to have access to the best global expertise and cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is revising its programs to assist the poor, as well as its range of financing options, to meet pressing development priorities.
Pillars of these efforts include:
Results: Together, we are continuing to sharpen our focus on helping
developing countries deliver measurable results.
Reform: New reforms at the World Bank Group are aimed at improving every aspect of our work: the way projects are designed (investment lending), how information is made available (access to information), and how our staff are deployed to best assist governments and communities (decentralization).
Open Development: The World Bank is leading the effort toward openness and transparency in development by offering a wealth of tools and knowledge to provide people with the resources they need to help solve the world’s development challenges. In 2010, the Bank launched a new Open Data website, providing free access to a comprehensive set of data about development in countries around the globe.
Since inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions. Our mission evolved from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as facilitator of post-war reconstruction and development to the present day mandate of worldwide poverty alleviation in close coordination with our affiliate, the International Development Association, and other members of the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)..
Once we had a homogeneous staff of engineers and financial analysts, based solely in Washington, DC.