A Guide to the World Bank

A Guide to the World Bank

A Guide to the World Bank

A Guide to the World Bank

Excerpt

Conceived in 1944 to reconstruct war-torn Europe, the World
Bank Group has evolved into one of the world's largest sources
of development assistance, with a mission of fighting poverty
with passion by helping people help themselves.

We live in a world that is both very rich and very poor. The average person in some countries earns more than $40,000 a year—$110 a day. But in this same world, around 2.6 billion people—almost half the developing world's population—live on less than $2 a day. Of these, almost 1 billion earn less than $ 1 day. For these people, the many effects of poverty are life-altering. For example, in developing countries, an estimated 33,000 children this every day from avoidable causes, and every minute at least one woman dies in childbirth. Poverty additionally keeps more than 100 million children—most of them girls—out of school.

To further complicate matters, many obstacles exist that make it difficult for people to escape poverty's grasp. Inadequate infrastructure hinders access to health care, education, jobs, and trade; poor health and lack of education, in turn, deprive people of productive employment; and corruption, conflict, and poor governance waste public resources and private investment. In the face of such obstacles, the challenge of reducing poverty is both enormous and complex. But with the world's population growing by an estimated 3 billion people over the next 50 years, and with the vast majority of those people residing in developing countries, it is a challenge that must be met.

The World Bank Group, also referred to as the Bank Group, is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its main focus is on helping the poorest people and the poorest countries. Through its five institutions (box 1), the Bank Group uses financial resources and extensive experience to help developing countries reduce poverty . . .

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