World Bank Headquarters, President and History

Know about the History of World Bank


What is the World Bank?

The World Bank Group is an international organization, associated with the United Nations with whom, it works at three levels – Intergovernmental, Interagency, and Institutional. It provides loans, grants and other financial assistance to countries that are socially or economically backwards.

Five institutions together make the World Bank:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

These institutions work with mutual co-operation to run the organization. With 189 countries as its members, and its 10000+ staff residing in 170+ countries, it is a widespread organization.

Where is it situated?

The headquarters of the World Bank is in Washington D.C. United States. It has offices in 120+ countries across the globe.

History of World Bank

In the aftermath of the World Wars, many European nations, as well as the United States had lost  most of their financial resources. Hence, reconstruction post damage was a painful task.

In 1944, at the Bretton Woods Conference, a unanimous decision was made by five countries, to build an institution, for mutual financial benefit.

It began its official operations in the month of June, 1946.

Initially, its loans were garnered towards the reconstruction of infrastructure, as well as financing schemes. The first-ever country to receive a loan from the World Bank was France.

Later, as reconstruction started taking place, the focus shifted towards development.

Other countries followed, and the members kept increasing.

A time came when there was a strategic partnership between developed nations, with enough resources, and developing nations that needed help in various forms.

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Who makes the decisions?

The highest policy-making body of the organization is the Board of Governors, composed of its 189 members. They meet once, every year, at the World Bank and IMF annual meet.

The governors choose 25 Executive Directors, who together make up the Board of Directors. They are responsible for running the day to day tasks of the bank and meet twice a week to discuss issues related to the bank.

The top 5 shareholders of the bank appoint an executive director, while other members have elected executive directors.

The topmost executive of the bank is the President, who is responsible for conduction of meetings of the board of directors. The current President of the World Bank is David R. Malpass.

Objectives and Functions

  • Works across many sectors such as Climate Change, Education, Energy, and Poverty removal, Urban Development, Trade and Healthcare.
  • Does in-depth research on global as well as, the local level and prepares status reports on countries.
  • Provides technical assistance and support, in the form of financial advice, to developing nations.
  • Provides financial aid to poor and developing nations.
  • Provides low-interest loans and zero to low-interest credits, to support weak economies.
  • World Bank has partnerships with various institutions of the world such as The Carbon Fund, Roll Back Malaria, Haiti Reconstruction Fund, Global Water Partnership, and Harmonization for Health in Africa etc. These institutions provide grants and loans to individuals, organizations and government institutions to run welfare schemes for people.

Summing Up, the World Bank is a banker to the countries of the world. Its importance and dominance are here to stay. However, because of its west favouring perception, many other regional institutions such as BRICS have come up to counter its dominance.

Hope our article gave you clear cut info regarding The World Bank.

For more such informative articles stay tuned to OWN TV.

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