history of the world bankThe history of the World Bank begins in 1944. Founded as an international financial institution, the World Bank’s official goal is poverty reduction. The World Bank was established to finance projects that strengthen economic sectors for developing countries.

The function of the World Bank is providing low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants pave the way for improved education, healthcare and infrastructure for countries emerging from poverty and conflict.

The Changing History of the World Bank

The World Bank officially began in 1946 when the first loan was given to France under strict limitations. One such requirement had France remove government members associated with Communism. With $250 million loaned to France, the World Bank began its credibility as a lender.

Initially, the World Bank aimed to assist European countries devastated by World War II. However, concerned voices of leaders from around the world helped shift the World Banks’s role as a support system for the world.

The history of the World Bank shows that the focus soon shifted to major infrastructure projects. Loans provided to developing countries went towards resources, training and developmental necessities to ensure financial sustainability.

In the 1970s the World Bank’s priorities shifted once again to focus on the elimination poverty. The World Bank focused on people driven projects regarding agricultural development, education of health and sanitation as well as rural and urban development.

As of December 2017, the World Bank is shifting once again. Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank, announced that the World Bank will no longer invest in oil and gas projects. Instead, it will focus on the One Planet climate summit in Paris. Kim believes environmental policies and energy access will improve countries in terms of sustainability.

The history of the World Bank continues to shift as the needs of the world changes in order to meet the needs of communities.

– Jennifer Serrato

Photo: Flickr