The World Bank Group provides advice and financial assistance in the form of discounted loans and grants to countries struggling with poverty, with a focus on areas such as health, education and agriculture. It was created on December 27, 1945 as part of the Bretton Woods agreement and consists of five organizations:
• 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 first two institutions, the IBRD and the IDA, comprise the World Bank, a subgroup within the World Bank Group.
The World Bank Group has 189 member states, with the U.S. as the bank’s largest shareholder. The U.S. president nominates the bank’s president, all of whom have so far been U.S. citizens. The bank’s headquarters is in Washington, D.C.
Regional development banks (RDBs) are multilateral financial institutions that provide financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries within their regions. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The term RDB usually refers to four institutions: