World Bank Group

The World Bank Group comprises five institutions that have their own membership, articles of agreement and governing bodies but work as one in the service of partner countries:

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • The International Development Association (IDA)
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
The IBRD (soon to become known as the World Bank) was set up in 1944 to help countries that had been devastated by war. Its focus moved from reconstruction to development and particularly the funding of ambitious infrastructure projects. With the birth of the IFC (1956), private companies and financial institutions in the developing world could take advantage of loan facilities. Four years later, the IDA came into being with a remit to help the poorest countries. The subsequent founding of MIGA and ICSID further improved the World Bank Group’s opportunities to align global financial resources to developing world needs. These five institutions seek out sustainable solutions to reduce poverty and encourage prosperity for all. Their specific mission (target 2030) is to reduce to three percent the proportion of the world population that lives in extreme poverty. An important aim is to dramatically improve the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in all countries.  There are currently 189 member countries. The IBRD and IDA constitute ‘The World Bank’ and focus on helping the governments of developing countries. The latter works to help the world’s poorest and the former concentrates on the middle-income countries and the more creditworthy. The IFC, MIGA and ICID help strengthen the private sector in the developing world. The World Bank is funded through its accumulated reserves and money paid in by its members.