Introduction to WB – World Bank

Shot for WB by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, World Bank is the abbreviation for the »International Bank for Reconstruction and Development«.

The World Bank was founded in 1945 and has been a specialized agency of the UN since 1947. It is based in Washington, DC. The World Bank’s task is to promote the economic development of its member states by granting loans. It also works with other organizations, such as development aid.

WB: World bank

World Bank, English World Bank [wə ː ld bæ ŋ k], officially the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, officially english International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [ ɪ ntə næ ʃ nl bæ ŋ k f ɔ ː ri ː kən str ʌ k ʃ n ənd d ɪ veləpmənt], abbreviation IBRD.

The World Bank is a specialized agency of the UN (since November 15, 1947); Established on December 27, 1945 on the basis of the Bretton Woods Agreement (commenced operations on June 25, 1946); Headquarters: Washington, D. C.). The World Bank is formed from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Organization (IDA); Together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), these form the World Bank Group.

Objectives: The task of the World Bank is to promote the economic development of the member countries and the standard of living of the population by making it easier to invest capital for productive purposes, by promoting private direct investment and foreign trade, and by promoting measures to combat poverty. This is done by v. a. the granting of loans (financial aid), the granting of technical assistance for development projects, the coordination of development aid and cooperation with other development aid organizations v. a. within the framework of the United Nations.

Organs: Each of the 189 member countries (2019) sends a governor (usually the economics minister or central bank president) to the highest body of the World Bank, the Board of Governors. The day-to-day business is carried out by the Executive Board (Board of Executive Directors), which has 24 members (five directors are appointed by the five member states with the highest capital participation, 19 by the other member states for a two-year term). The President of the World Bank is elected by the Executive Board for a five-year term and chairs this body (without voting rights). By convention, the President of the World Bank is an American citizen.

The members of the respective bodies work in personal union for all organizations of the World Bank Group. The right of member states to vote in votes is based on their share of World Bank capital. The six largest shareholders in IBRD held almost 40% of the voting rights in 2019 (USA 15.68%, Japan 7.88%, China 4.37%, Germany 3.96% and France and Great Britain 3.71% each).

Activity: The World Bank initially used its financial resources to rebuild Europe after the Second World War. Since 1950 (especially after the start of the Marshall Plan), the emphasis has been on the economic promotion of developing countries, and since 1990 the Central and Eastern European transition countries have also been given increasing support. In addition to project-linked loans, the World Bank also grants program loans and, since the beginning of the debt crisis, structural adjustment loans.

Until the 1970s, the focus was on projects in the area of ​​economic infrastructure, since then there have been increasing measures of rural development and the basic needs strategy (»poverty-oriented strategy«), taking environmental aspects into account. Special aid programs (e.g. to fight poverty in Africa) are also carried out. However, the awarding policy repeatedly meets with criticism. The loans, which are usually granted to governments, have terms of between 15 and 20 years with three to five grace-free years and interest rates calculated according to the refinancing costs of the World Bank, which largely correspond to the conditions on the international financial markets.

The World Bank procures the funds for its activities v. a. on the international financial markets, with borrowing predominantly in the medium and long term. Loan repayments from previously granted loans are also becoming increasingly important. The World Bank’s profits are not fully available to finance funded projects, as in the past these were usually transferred to the IDA as lost grants or, as in more recent times, added to general reserves. The payments made by the member states on their subscribed capital only played a significant role at the beginning of business activity.

The World Bank also manages the Global Environment Facility.

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