The World Bank Group building in Washington, D.C.
|Motto||Working for a World Free of Poverty|
|Type||Monetary International Financial Organization|
|Headquarters||1818 H Street NW, Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|189 countries (IBRD) |
173 countries (IDA)
|World Bank Group|
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low and middle income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.
The World Bank's most recently stated goal is the reduction of poverty.
The World Bank Group is an extended family of five international organizations, and the parent organization of the World Bank, the collective name given to the first two listed organizations, the IBRD and the IDA:
The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American.The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.C., and work closely with each other.
Although many countries were represented at the Bretton Woods Conference, the United States and United Kingdom were the most powerful in attendance and dominated the negotiations. 52–54 The intention behind the founding of the World Bank was to provide temporary loans to low-income countries which were unable to obtain loans commercially. The Bank may also make loans and demand policy reforms from recipients.:
In its early years the Bank made a slow start for two reasons: it was underfunded, and there were leadership struggles between the US Executive Director and the President of the organization. When the Marshall Plan went into effect in 1947, many European countries began receiving aid from other sources. Faced with this competition, the World Bank shifted its focus to non-European countries. Until 1968, its loans were earmarked for the construction of infrastructure works, such as seaports, highway systems, and power plants, that would generate enough income to enable a borrower country to repay the loan. In 1960, the International Development Association was formed (as opposed to a UN fund named SUNFED), providing soft loans to developing countries.
Before 1974, the reconstruction and development loans provided by the World Bank were relatively small. The Bank's staff were aware of the need to instill confidence in the bank. Fiscal conservatism ruled, and loan applications had to meet strict criteria. 56–60:
The first country to receive a World Bank loan was France. The Bank's president at the time, John McCloy, chose France over two other applicants, Poland and Chile. The loan was for US$250 million, half the amount requested, and it came with strict conditions. France had to agree to produce a balanced budget and give priority of debt repayment to the World Bank over other governments. World Bank staff closely monitored the use of the funds to ensure that the French government met the conditions. In addition, before the loan was approved, the United States State Department told the French government that its members associated with the Communist Party would first have to be removed. The French government complied and removed the Communist coalition government - the so-called tripartite. Within hours, the loan to France was approved.
From 1974 to 1980 the bank concentrated on meeting the basic needs of people in the developing world. The size and number of loans to borrowers was greatly increased, as loan targets expanded from infrastructure into social services and other sectors.
These changes can be attributed to Robert McNamara, who was appointed to the presidency in 1968 by Lyndon B. Johnson. 60–63 McNamara implored bank treasurer Eugene Rotberg to seek out new sources of capital outside of the northern banks that had been the primary sources of funding. Rotberg used the global bond market to increase the capital available to the bank. One consequence of the period of poverty alleviation lending was the rapid rise of Third World debt. From 1976 to 1980, developing world debt rose at an average annual rate of 20%.:
The World Bank Administrative Tribunal was established in 1980, to decide on disputes between the World Bank Group and its staff where allegation of non-observance of contracts of employment or terms of appointment had not been honored.
McNamara was succeeded by US President Jimmy Carter's nominee, Alden W. Clausen, in 1980.Clausen replaced many members of McNamara's staff and crafted a different mission emphasis. His 1982 decision to replace the bank's Chief Economist, Hollis B. Chenery, with Anne Krueger was an example of this new focus. Krueger was known for her criticism of development funding and for describing Third World governments as "rent-seeking states".
During the 1980s the bank emphasized lending to service Third-World debt, and structural adjustment policies designed to streamline the economies of developing nations. UNICEF reported in the late 1980s that the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank had been responsible for "reduced health, nutritional and educational levels for tens of millions of children in Asia, Latin America, and Africa".
Beginning in 1989, in response to harsh criticism from many groups, the bank began including environmental groups and NGOs in its loans to mitigate the past effects of its development policies that had prompted the criticism. 93–97 It also formed an implementing agency, in accordance with the Montreal Protocols, to stop ozone-depletion damage to the Earth's atmosphere by phasing out the use of 95% of ozone-depleting chemicals, with a target date of 2015. Since then, in accordance with its so-called "Six Strategic Themes", the bank has put various additional policies into effect to preserve the environment while promoting development. For example, in 1991 the bank announced that to protect against deforestation, especially in the Amazon, it would not finance any commercial logging or infrastructure projects that harm the environment.:
In order to promote global public goods, the World Bank tries to control communicable diseases such as malaria, delivering vaccines to several parts of the world, and joining combat forces. In 2000 the bank announced a "war on AIDS" and in 2011 the Bank joined the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership.
Traditionally, based on a tacit understanding between the United States and Europe, the president of the World Bank has always been selected from candidates nominated by the United States. In 2012, for the first time, two non-US citizens were nominated.
On 23 March 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would nominate Jim Yong Kim as the next president of the Bank.Jim Yong Kim was elected on 27 April 2012 and re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. He announced that he would resign effective 1 February 2019. He was replaced on an interim basis by now-former World Bank CEO, Kristalina Georgieva, then by David Malpass on 9 April 2019.
Amid the global fight with the COVID-19 pandemic, in September 2020, the World Bank announced a plan worth $12 billion in order to supply "low and middle income countries" with a vaccine once it is approved. The plan is set to affect over two billion people worldwide.
Various developments had brought the Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015 within reach in some cases. For the goals to be realized, six criteria must be met: stronger and more inclusive growth in Africa and fragile states, more effort in health and education, integration of the development and environment agendas, more as well as better aid, movement on trade negotiations, and stronger and more focused support from multilateral institutions like the World Bank.
To make sure that World Bank-financed operations do not compromise these goals but instead add to their realisation, environmental, social, and legal safeguards were defined. However, these safeguards have not been implemented entirely yet. At the World Bank's annual meeting in Tokyo 2012 a review of these safeguards has been initiated, which was welcomed by several civil society organisations.
The President of the Bank is the president of the entire World Bank Group. The president is responsible for chairing meetings of the Boards of Directors and for overall management of the Bank. Traditionally, the President of the Bank has always been a US citizen nominated by the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank (the managing director of the International Monetary Fund having always been a European). The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Executive Directors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term. While most World Bank presidents have had banking experience, some have not.
The vice presidents of the Bank are its principal managers, in charge of regions, sectors, networks and functions. There are two Executive Vice presidents, three Senior Vice presidents, and 24 Vice presidents.
The Boards of Directors consist of the World Bank Group President and 25 Executive Directors. The President is the presiding officer, and ordinarily has no vote except a deciding vote in case of an equal division. The Executive Directors as individuals cannot exercise any power nor commit or represent the Bank unless specifically authorized by the Boards to do so. With the term beginning 1 November 2010, the number of Executive Directors increased by one, to 25.
|Eugene Meyer||1946–1946||Newspaper publisher and Chairman of the Federal Reserve|
|John J. McCloy||1947–1949||Lawyer and US Assistant Secretary of War|
|Eugene R. Black, Sr.||1949–1963||Bank executive with Chase and executive director with the World Bank|
|George Woods||1963–1968||Bank executive with First Boston Corporation|
|Robert McNamara||1968–1981||President of the Ford Motor Company, US Defense Secretary under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Alden W. Clausen||1981–1986||Lawyer, bank executive with Bank of America|
|Barber Conable||1986–1991||New York State Senator and US Congressman|
|Lewis T. Preston||1991–1995||Bank executive with J.P. Morgan|
|James Wolfensohn||1995–2005||Wolfensohn was a naturalised American citizen before taking office. Corporate lawyer and banker|
|Paul Wolfowitz||2005–2007||US Ambassador to Indonesia, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, a prominent architect of 2003 invasion of Iraq, resigned World Bank post due to ethics scandal|
|Robert Zoellick||2007–2012||Deputy Secretary of State and US Trade Representative|
|Jim Yong Kim||2012–2019||Former Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard, president of Dartmouth College, naturalized American citizen|
|Kristalina Georgieva||2019||Former European Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources and 2010's "European of the Year"|
|David Malpass||2019–present||Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs|
|Hollis B. Chenery||1972–1982|
|Anne Osborn Krueger||1982–1986|
|Joseph E. Stiglitz||1997–2000|
|Justin Yifu Lin||2008–2012|
|Aart Kraay (acting)||2020–present||?|
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 189 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 173 members. Each member state of IBRD should also be a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank (such as IDA).
In 2010 voting powers at the World Bank were revised to increase the voice of developing countries, notably China. The countries with most voting power are now the United States (15.85%), Japan (6.84%), China (4.42%), Germany (4.00%), the United Kingdom (3.75%), France (3.75%), India (2.91%),Russia (2.77%), Saudi Arabia (2.77%) and Italy (2.64%). Under the changes, known as 'Voice Reform – Phase 2', countries other than China that saw significant gains included South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Greece, Brazil, India, and Spain. Most developed countries' voting power was reduced, along with a few developing countries such as Nigeria. The voting powers of the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia were unchanged.
The changes were brought about with the goal of making voting more universal in regards to standards, rule-based with objective indicators, and transparent among other things. Now, developing countries have an increased voice in the "Pool Model", backed especially by Europe. Additionally, voting power is based on economic size in addition to the International Development Association contributions.
The following table shows the subscriptions of the top 20 member countries of the World Bank by voting power in the following World Bank institutions as of December 2014 or March 2015: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Member countries are allocated votes at the time of membership and subsequently for additional subscriptions to capital (one vote for each share of capital stock held by the member).
|1||United States||358,498||United States||570,179||United States||2,546,503||United States||32,790|
|5||France||87,241||United Kingdom||121,815||France||908,843||United Kingdom||8,791|
|6||United Kingdom||87,241||India||103,747||Saudi Arabia||810,293||China||5,756|
|8||Saudi Arabia||67,155||Canada||82,142||Canada||629,658||Saudi Arabia||5,754|
For the poorest developing countries in the world, the bank's assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining an analysis of local groups with an analysis of the country's financial and economic situation the World Bank develops a plan pertaining to the country in question. The government then identifies the country's priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank instigates its aid efforts correspondingly.
Forty-five countries pledged US$25.1 billion in "aid for the world's poorest countries", aid that goes to the World Bank International Development Association (IDA), which distributes the loans to eighty poorer countries. Wealthier nations sometimes fund their own aid projects, including those for diseases. Robert B. Zoellick, the former president of the World Bank, said when the loans were announced on 15 December 2007, that IDA money "is the core funding that the poorest developing countries rely on".
World Bank organizes the Development Marketplace Awards, a grant program that surfaces and funds development projects with potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. The grant beneficiaries are social enterprises with projects that aim to deliver social and public services to groups with the lowest incomes.
The World Bank has been assigned temporary management responsibility of the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), focused on making renewable energy cost-competitive with coal-fired power as quickly as possible, but this may not continue after UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in December 2009, because of the Bank's continued investment in coal-fired power plants.(In December 2017, Kim announced the World Bank would no longer finance fossil fuel development.)
Together with the World Health Organization, the World Bank administers the International Health Partnership (IHP+). IHP+ is a group of partners committed to improving the health of citizens in developing countries. Partners work together to put international principles for aid effectiveness and development cooperation into practice in the health sector. IHP+ mobilizes national governments, development agencies, civil society, and others to support a single, country-led national health strategy in a well-coordinated way.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in 2012:
"A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2 degrees ... Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest."
A World Bank report into climate change in 2012 noted that (p. xiii) "even with the current mitigation commitments and pledges fully implemented, there is roughly a 20 percent likelihood of exceeding 4 °C by 2100." This is despite the fact that the "global community has committed itself to holding warming below 2 °C to prevent 'dangerous' climate change". Furthermore, "a series of recent extreme events worldwide highlight the vulnerability of all countries ... No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change."
The World Bank doubled its aid for climate change adaptation from $2.3bn (£1.47bn) in 2011 to $4.6bn in 2012. The planet is now 0.8 °C warmer than in pre-industrial times. It says that 2 °C warming will be reached in 20 to 30 years.
In December 2017, Kim announced the World Bank would no longer finance fossil fuel development.
However, a 2019 article by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that the World Bank continues "to finance oil and gas exploration, pipelines and refineries," that "these fossil fuel investments make up a greater share of the bank’s current energy lending portfolio than renewable projects," and that the Bank "has yet to meaningfully shift away from fossil fuels."
EU finance ministers joined civil sector groups, including Extinction Rebellion, in November 2019 in calling for an end to World Bank funding of fossil fuels.
The World Bank Institute (WBI) was a "global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction". It aimed to inspire change agents and prepare them with essential tools that can help achieve development results. WBI had four major strategies to approach development problems: innovation for development, knowledge exchange, leadership and coalition building, and structured learning. World Bank Institute (WBI) was formerly known as Economic Development Institute (EDI), established on 11 March 1955 with the support of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The purpose of the institute was to provide an open place where senior officials from developing countries could discuss development policies and programs. Over the years, EDI grew significantly and in 2000, the institute was renamed as the World Bank Institute. Sanjay Pradhan is the past Vice President of the World Bank Institute.As of 2019, World Bank Institute functions have been mostly encapsulated by a new unit Global Operations Knowledge Management Unit (GOKMU), which is now responsible for knowledge management and learning across the Bank.
The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is a partnership of over 120 learning centers (GDLN Affiliates) in nearly 80 countries around the world. GDLN Affiliates collaborate in holding events that connect people across countries and regions for learning and dialogue on development issues.
GDLN clients are typically NGOs, government, private sector, and development agencies who find that they work better together on subregional, regional, or global development issues using the facilities and tools offered by GDLN Affiliates. Clients also benefit from the ability of Affiliates to help them choose and apply these tools effectively and to tap development practitioners and experts worldwide. GDLN Affiliates facilitate around 1000 video conference-based activities a year on behalf of their clients, reaching some 90,000 people worldwide. Most of these activities bring together participants in two or more countries over a series of sessions. A majority of GDLN activities are organized by small government agencies and NGOs.
The GDLN in the East Asia and Pacific region has experienced rapid growth and Distance Learning Centers now operate or are planned in 20 countries: Australia, Mongolia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste, Fiji, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and New Zealand. With over 180 Distance Learning Centers, it is the largest development learning network in the Asia and Pacific region. The Secretariat Office of GDLN Asia Pacific is located in the Center of Academic Resources of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
GDLN Asia Pacific was launched at the GDLN's East Asia and Pacific regional meeting held in Bangkok from 22 to 24 May 2006. Its vision is to become "the premier network exchanging ideas, experience and know-how across the Asia Pacific Region". GDLN Asia Pacific is a separate entity to The World Bank. It has endorsed its own Charter and Business Plan and, in accordance with the Charter, a GDLN Asia Pacific Governing Committee has been appointed.
The committee comprises China (2), Australia (1), Thailand (1), The World Bank (1), and finally, a nominee of the Government of Japan (1). The organization is currently hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, a founding member of the GDLN Asia Pacific.
The Governing Committee has determined that the most appropriate legal status for the GDLN AP in Thailand is a "Foundation". The World Bank is currently engaging a solicitor in Thailand to process all documentation in order to obtain this legal status.
GDLN Asia Pacific is built on the principle of shared resources among partners engaged in a common task, and this is visible in the organizational structures that exist, as the network evolves. Physical space for its headquarters is provided by the host of the GDLN Centre in Thailand – Chulalongkorn University; Technical expertise and some infrastructure is provided by the Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC); Fiduciary services are provided by Australian National University (ANU) Until the GDLN Asia Pacific is established as a legal entity in Thailand, ANU, has offered to assist the governing committee, by providing a means of managing the inflow and outflow of funds and of reporting on them. This admittedly results in some complexity in contracting arrangements, which need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis and depends to some extent on the legal requirements of the countries involved.
A Justice Sector Peer-Assisted Learning (JUSTPAL) Network was launched in April 2011 by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Department of the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region. The JUSTPAL objective is to provide an online and offline platform for justice professionals to exchange knowledge, good practices, and peer-driven improvements to justice systems and thereby support countries to improve their justice sector performance, quality of justice, and service delivery to citizens and businesses.
The JUSTPAL Network includes representatives of judiciaries, ministries of justice, prosecutors, anti-corruption agencies, and other justice-related entities from across the globe. The Network currently has active members from more than 50 countries.
To facilitate fruitful exchange of reform experiences and sharing of applicable good practices, the JUSTPAL Network has organized its activities under (currently) five Communities of Practice (COPs): (i) Budgeting for the Justice Sector; (ii) Information Systems for Justice Services; (iii) Justice Sector Physical Infrastructure; (iv) Court Management and Administration; and (v) Prosecution and Anti-Corruption Agencies.
As a guideline to the World Bank's operations in any particular country, a Country Assistance Strategy is produced in cooperation with the local government and any interested stakeholders and may rely on analytical work performed by the Bank or other parties.
Clean Air Initiative (CAI) is a World Bank initiative to advance innovative ways to improve air quality in cities through partnerships in selected regions of the world by sharing knowledge and experiences. It includes electric vehicles.Initiatives like this help address and tackle pollution-related diseases.
Based on an agreement between the United Nations and the World Bank in 1981, Development Business became the official source for World Bank Procurement Notices, Contract Awards, and Project Approvals.
In 1998, the agreement was re-negotiated, and included in this agreement was a joint venture to create an electronic version of the publication via the World Wide Web. Today, Development Business is the primary publication for all major multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies, and several national governments, many of whom have made the publication of their tenders and contracts in Development Business a mandatory requirement.
The World Bank or the World Bank Group is also a sitting observer in the United Nations Development Group.
The World Bank collects and processes large amounts of data and generates them on the basis of economic models. These data and models have gradually been made available to the public in a way that encourages reuse,whereas the recent publications describing them are available as open access under a Creative Commons Attribution License, for which the bank received the SPARC Innovator 2012 award.
The World Bank also endorses the Principles for Digital Development.
The following table lists the top 15 DAC 5 Digit Sectorsto which the World Bank has committed funding, as recorded by it in its International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) publications. The World Bank states on the IATI Registry website that the amounts "will cover 100% of IBRD and IDA development flows" but will not cover other development flows.
|Committed funding (US$ millions)|
|Social/ welfare services||613.1||208.1||185.5||2,878.4||1,477.4||1,493.2||1,498.5||2,592.6||2,745.4||1,537.7||73.6||15,303.5|
|Electrical transmission/ distribution||1,292.5||862.1||1,740.2||2,435.4||1,465.1||907.7||1,614.9||395.7||2,457.1||1,632.2||374.8||15,177.8|
|Public finance management||334.2||223.1||499.7||129.0||455.3||346.6||3,156.8||2,724.0||3,160.5||2,438.9||690.5||14,158.6|
|Urban development and management||261.2||375.9||733.3||739.6||542.1||1,308.1||914.3||258.9||747.3||1,122.1||212.2||7,214.9|
|Business support services and institutions||113.3||20.8||721.7||181.4||363.3||514.0||310.0||760.1||1,281.9||1,996.0||491.3||6,753.7|
|Energy policy and administrative management||102.5||243.0||324.9||234.2||762.0||654.9||902.1||480.5||1,594.2||1,001.8||347.9||6,648.0|
|Agricultural water resources||733.2||749.5||84.6||251.8||780.6||819.5||618.3||1,040.3||1,214.8||824.0||−105.8||7,011.0|
|Decentralisation and support to subnational government||904.5||107.9||176.1||206.7||331.2||852.8||880.6||466.8||1,417.0||432.5||821.3||6,597.3|
|Disaster prevention and preparedness||66.9||2.7||260.0||9.0||417.2||609.5||852.9||373.5||1,267.8||1,759.7||114.2||5,733.5|
|Sanitation - large systems||441.9||679.7||521.6||422.0||613.1||1,209.4||268.0||55.4||890.6||900.8||93.9||6,096.3|
|Water supply - large systems||646.5||438.1||298.3||486.5||845.1||640.2||469.0||250.5||1,332.4||609.9||224.7||6,241.3|
|Health policy and administrative management||661.3||54.8||285.8||673.8||1,581.4||799.3||251.5||426.3||154.8||368.1||496.0||5,753.1|
The World Bank hosts the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR)
The World Bank's repository is listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories re3data.org.
The World Bank has long been criticized by non-governmental organizations, such as the indigenous rights group Survival International, and academics, including Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig Von Mises, and its former Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz.Henry Hazlitt argued that the World Bank along with the monetary system it was designed within would promote world inflation and "a world in which international trade is State-dominated" when they were being advocated. Stiglitz argued that the so-called free market reform policies that the Bank advocates are often harmful to economic development if implemented badly, too quickly ("shock therapy"), in the wrong sequence or in weak, uncompetitive economies. Similarly, Carmine Guerriero notices that these reforms have introduced in developing countries regulatory institutions typical of the common law legal tradition because allegedly more efficient according to the legal origins theory. The latter however has been fiercely criticized since it does not take into account that the legal institutions transplanted during the European colonization have been then reformed. This issue makes the legal origins theory's inference unreliable and the World Bank reforms detrimental.
One of the most common criticisms of the World Bank has been the way in which it is governed. While the World Bank represents 188 countries, it is run by a small number of economically powerful countries. These countries (which also provide most of the institution's funding) choose the leadership and senior management of the World Bank, and their interests dominate the bank. 190 Titus Alexander argues that the unequal voting power of western countries and the World Bank's role in developing countries makes it similar to the South African Development Bank under apartheid, and therefore a pillar of global apartheid. :133–141:
In the 1990s, the World Bank and the IMF forged the Washington Consensus, policies that included deregulation and liberalization of markets, privatization and the downscaling of government. Though the Washington Consensus was conceived as a policy that would best promote development, it was criticized for ignoring equity, employment, and how reforms like privatization were carried out. Joseph Stiglitz argued that the Washington Consensus placed too much emphasis on the growth of GDP, and not enough on the permanence of growth or on whether growth contributed to better living standards. 17:
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report criticized the World Bank and other international financial institutions for focusing too much "on issuing loans rather than on achieving concrete development results within a finite period of time" and called on the institution to "strengthen anti-corruption efforts".
James Ferguson has argued that the main effect of many development projects carried out by the World Bank and similar organizations is not the alleviation of poverty. Instead, the projects often serve to expand the exercise of bureaucratic state power. Through his case-studies of development projects in Thaba-Tseka he shows that the World Bank's characterization of the economic conditions in Lesotho was flawed, and the Bank ignored the political and cultural character of the state in crafting their projects. As a result, the projects failed to help the poor but succeeded in expanding the government bureaucracy.
Criticism of the World Bank and other organizations often takes the form of protesting, such as the World Bank Oslo 2002 Protests,the 2007 October Rebellion, and the 1999 Battle of Seattle. Such demonstrations have occurred all over the world, even among the Brazilian Kayapo people.
Another source of criticism has been the tradition of having an American head the bank, implemented because the United States provides the majority of World Bank funding. "When economists from the World Bank visit poor countries to dispense cash and advice," observed The Economist in 2012, "they routinely tell governments to reject cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available. It is good advice. The World Bank should take it."
The effect of structural adjustment policies on poor countries has been one of the most significant criticisms of the World Bank. 68 The World Bank responded with structural adjustment loans, which distributed aid to struggling countries while enforcing policy changes in order to reduce inflation and fiscal imbalance. Some of these policies included encouraging production, investment and labour-intensive manufacturing, changing real exchange rates, and altering the distribution of government resources. Structural adjustment policies were most effective in countries with an institutional framework that allowed these policies to be implemented easily. For some countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth regressed and inflation worsened.The 1979 energy crisis plunged many countries into economic crisis. :
By the late 1980s, some international organizations began to believe that structural adjustment policies were worsening life for the world's poor, due to a reduction in social spending and an increase in the price of food, as subsidies were lifted. The World Bank changed structural adjustment loans, allowing for social spending to be maintained, and encouraging a slower change to policies such as transfer of subsidies and price rises. 70 In 1999, the World Bank and the IMF introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach to replace structural adjustment loans. :147:
Some critics,most prominently the author Naomi Klein, are of the opinion that the World Bank Group's loans and aid have unfair conditions attached to them that reflect the interests, financial power and political doctrines (notably the Washington Consensus) of the Bank and, by extension, the countries that are most influential within it. Among other allegations, Klein says the Group's credibility was damaged "when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatise its water system; when it made telecom privatisation a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labour 'flexibility' in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq".
The World Bank requires sovereign immunity from countries it deals with.Sovereign immunity waives a holder from all legal liability for their actions. It is proposed that this immunity from responsibility is a "shield which The World Bank wants to resort to, for escaping accountability and security by the people". As the United States has veto power, it can prevent the World Bank from taking action against its interests.
World Bank favored PricewaterhouseCoopers as a consultant in a bid for privatizing the water distribution in Delhi, India.
The World Bank has been criticized for the slow response of its Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), a fund that was created to provide money to help manage pandemic outbreaks. The terms of the PEF, which is financed by bonds sold to private investors, prevent any money from being released from the fund until 12 weeks after the outbreak was initially detected (23 March). The novel coronavirus outbreak met all other requirements for the funding to be released in January 2020.
Critics have argued that the terms of the PEF are too stringent, and the 12-week delay means that the funding will be much less effective than if it was released to assist governments in initially containing the outbreak. They argue that the fund prioritizes the interests of the private bondholders over public health.
It is however hoped that as the 2030 deadline for achieving the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 aimed at reducing inequalityapproaches, the World Bank will be a major player in making it a reality.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines. The company also maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in Asia. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and non-regional developed countries. From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 68 members.
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has declined drastically since the mid-1980s, despite being home to vast potential in natural resources and mineral wealth.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world while periodically depending on the World Bank for its resources. Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is an international financial institution, established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, that is the lending arm of World Bank Group. The IBRD offers loans to middle-income developing countries. The IBRD is the first of five member institutions that compose the World Bank Group. The initial mission of the IBRD in 1944, was to finance the reconstruction of European nations devastated by World War II. The IBRD and its concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), are collectively known as the World Bank as they share the same leadership and staff.
The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and most well-known development bank in the world and is an observer at the United Nations Development Group. The bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to "developing" and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year. The bank's stated mission is to achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity. Total lending as of 2015 for the last 10 years through Development Policy Financing was approximately $117 billion. Its five organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The first two are sometimes collectively referred to as the World Bank.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States.
The International Development Association (IDA) is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income. Together, the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are collectively generally known as the World Bank, as they follow the same executive leadership and operate with the same staff.
Structural adjustment programs (SAPs) consist of loans provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) to countries that experienced economic crises. The purpose is to adjust the country's economic structure, improve international competitiveness, and restore its balance of payments.
The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is an international financial institution founded in 1975 by the five Nordic states. In 2005, the three Baltic countries also became members of the Bank. NIB’s headquarters are located in Helsinki, Finland. NIB acquires the funds for its lending by borrowing on the international capital markets.
China originally joined the World Bank Group(WBG) on December 27, 1945. However, after the Chinese Civil War, the World Bank recognized the Republic of China as its member, until the relationship ended in 1980, when the membership was replaced by the People's Republic of China. The People's Republic of China (PRC) did not become involved with the World Bank group until 1980, when it first joined the World Bank in April due to the market reforms known as reform and opening-up. Prior to the economic reform and its relation with the World Bank, according to CRS, "China maintained policies that kept the economy very poor, stagnant, centrally controlled, vastly inefficient, and relatively isolated from the global economy" Since its entry into the World Bank, China has transformed into a market-based economy and has experienced rapid economic and social development. Currently, although China has become the world's second largest economy with 1.4 billion population, it still has a close relationship with the World Bank in areas such as poverty, environmental protection and new challenges from the reform.
Sri Lanka has been involved with the World Bank since its initial entrance into the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on August 29, 1950. Currently, Sri Lanka's quota in the IBERT is approximately 515.4 million dollars, thus allotting 5,846 votes or 0.25% of the total votes in the institution. Sri Lanka later became a member of the other institutions in the world bank such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on July 20, 1956, with a current quota of 7.491 million dollars, allotting 8,311 votes or 0.32% of the total votes; the International Development Association (IDA) on June 27, 1961, with a current share of 98,100 votes or 0.36% within the institution; the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on November 11, 1967; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) on May 27, 1988, with a current quota of 4.78 million SDR. Sri Lanka is currently in the India-led constituency for these organizations, representing the country as part of the South Asian block.
The World Bank Group country partnership framework aims to support Haiti's efforts to reduce poverty and provide economic opportunities for all Haitians. The framework aims to strengthen institutions, government capacity, and public financial management as aid and concessional financing rapidly decline.
Croatia joined the World Bank in 1993, two years after declaring independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991. The World Bank's projects from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s primarily focused on infrastructural and environmental projects.
South Africa first formed a formal relationship with the World Bank on Dec 27, 1945 when it joined the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the first of the five financial pillars that compose the World Bank. Although South Africa was a founding member of the World Bank, its first loan agreement wasn’t signed until 1951, in the amount of $20,000,000. Since then, over 4.15 billion dollars has been approved for disbursement to South Africa from the World Bank in the form of loans to support a broad spectrum of development projects, with the majority of this funding currently allocated for projects in energy and resource extraction. South Africa’s voting power does not exceed 1% of the total voting power across the four composite institutions with voting authority that make up the World Bank Group.
Japan joined the World Bank Group in August 1952. Loans that were taken out by Japan focused on improving infrastructure, having electrical power generation, improving water, establishing basic industry development and improving transportation. Japan now is the second-largest creditor to the World Bank, and in 1970 established an office in Tokyo.
Chile joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the founding branch of the World Bank Group, in December 31, 1945.
Mali joined the World Bank Group in 1963 after they gained their independence from France in 1960. They are a low-income country with 41.3% of their population living under the poverty line in 2019. Additionally, Mali is a landlocked country whose economy is vulnerable to changes in climate. Thus, Mali has relationships with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporations (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). In 2019, the IBRD and IDA committed to lending 500 million US dollars to projects in Mali, a large jump from 2018, where only US$178 million was lent. The bank group is currently involved in 30 projects in the region.These projects focused on areas such as mining, cotton, climate change, good governance, and health. Since 2013, the World Bank Group has worked alongside their UN mission counterpart, MINUSMA to create stability and growth in the region. The current World Bank Country Director for Mali is Soukeyna Kane.
Malaysia's independence in 1957 was a catalyst for growth. As the nation took charge of managing its own affairs, it continued to develop the goals and means necessary for a financial structure conducive to the economic growth observed today. Critical to the transition of Malaysia from a low-income country to one of high-income status has been the expansion of its economy. From a commodity and agricultural-based economy, the Southeast Asian nation is transitioning to a leading exporter of more complex goods. As the nation opens up to trade and investment, the World Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) continue to assist with its development.
Ireland joined the World Bank on August 8, 1957, and has continued to be a member since then. A majority of the money loaned to Ireland from the World Bank was put towards infrastructure projects, such as power and education. Ireland was able to pay back these loans in the predetermined time frames with little to no issue.
Mr. Clausen was chosen by President Jimmy Carter to lead the World Bank shortly before Mr. Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, but the new administration supported Mr. Clausen's nomination.
That focus paid dividends when President Jimmy Carter nominated him in 1980 to succeed Robert McNamara as president of the World Bank.
Kim is a naturalized US citizen who was born in Korea.
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