Since 1944, the World Bank has built a massive global partnership with two major goals fueling its work. It is working to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to increase the poorest population’s share of national wealth in each country.
Below are 10 facts about the World Bank:
- The World Bank is just what its name says: a bank, albeit on a larger scale. Providing loans, knowledge and guidance, the organization works with governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and regional development banks.
- The organization was started over 70 years ago and was first called The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Originally the organization worked to improve conditions in countries devastated by World War II, but this quickly evolved into efforts to end global poverty once and for all.
- There are now 189 countries who are members of the World Bank Group. This means only seven countries in the world are not members of the institution. The leading members of the Group are the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and the U.K.
- The World Bank consists of five organizations: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The International Development Association, The International Finance Corporation, The Multilateral Guarantee Agency and The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
- In 2015, the organization made 302 global commitments totaling $60 billion.
- So where does this money come from? The World Bank is backed by subscriptions paid by its member countries, bond flotations (money made from issuing new securities and expenses) from international markets and earnings from its own assets.
- The World Bank attributes much of its success to its diverse staff of economists, professionals in public policy and social scientists.
- The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but today more than one-third of its staff are located in individualized country offices.
- Four issues that the World Bank has identified as standing before its goals are as follows: access to schools, healthcare, electricity and safe water.
- The World Bank’s impact is visible. In 2013, an estimated 10.7 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Though this is nowhere near a stopping point, it is less than half of the percentage estimated in 1990.
These 10 facts about the World Bank illustrate its mission and actions that are making dramatic changes internationally. The organization has a new goal of ending global poverty by 2030 by lowering the number of people who make less than $1.90 a day to three percent.
– Emily Trosclair