What is It?

The World Bank: What is it?

The World Bank was formed in July 1944. It was implemented to reduce poverty in the world by providing loans to developing nations. In addition the World Bank was formed to further foreign investment and to increase international trade. Currently 188 countries have joined the World Bank. The World Bank first loaned money to European nations recovering from World War II. The first nation to get a loan was France who received 250 million dollars. But with the implementation of the Marshal Plan in 1947 the World Bank shifted its focus from Europe to non-European nations. In addition the World Bank tended to focus on infrastructure projects like seaports, highways, power plants. These types of projects would increase a borrow nation’s ability to repay the loans because it would increase business activity in that nation.

The World Bank was formed during the Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary fund. Both of these organizations have worked together on many projects. Furthermore both the IMF and World Bank are located in Washington D.C. Also traditionally the President of the bank has been an American citizen appointed by the United States government. Recently President Obama appointed Jim Yong Kim as the current World Bank President. But the President of the World Bank has little formal power. He has no vote in matters unless the board of directors is deadlocked on a decision. Both the United States and Great Britain were two of the strongest founding member nations of the bank. Recently the voting power of other less developed nations have had their voting powers within the bank increase including emerging economies like China, India, Brazil, and Mexico. Voting power is based on the size of a member nation’s economy.

Many of the World Bank’s current projects focus on poverty reduction, food security, and education. To further its goals the World Bank works with many Non-Government organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gate foundation. The World Bank also collects large amounts of statics on a wide range of issues and allows anyone to access its statics and encourages its reuse. Recently the bank has focused on global warming as well since many developing nations like Bangladesh are most vulnerable to the flooding and other negative effects of climate change. Furthermore the World Banks has many clean air programs working to clean the air in developing nations. The World Bank does this by encouraging nations to share technology and techniques to reduce pollution. And they have in recent years advocated for alternative energy sources and other clean technologies like electric cars. The World Bank has even being working in the criminal justice sector by setting up the JUSTPAL network. The Justice Sector Peer-Assisted Learning network was launched in 2011 as a way for developing nations to share their best practices. This service is available in over 50 countries who are working on improving quality of their justice systems. They work with judges, anti-corruption agencies, prosecutors and other justice related organizations in these countries.