The World Bank and Ida in the Americas: A Summary of Activities

The World Bank and Ida in the Americas: A Summary of Activities

The World Bank and Ida in the Americas: A Summary of Activities

The World Bank and Ida in the Americas: A Summary of Activities

Excerpt

The World Bank was founded, along with the International Monetary Fund, at the Bretton Woods Monetary and Financial Conference in July 1944. The Bank is an international cooperative institution with 74 member countries. Its objectives are implicit in its official title -- the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the urgent problems of reconstruction were its most important concern in the immediate postwar years, but since then its efforts have been concentrated on aiding the economic growth of its less developed member countries. The Bank is associated with the United Nations as a specialized agency.

The Bank obtains funds for its operations from the following sources: capital subscribed by its 74 member countries, which include 19 of the Republics of Latin America; sales of Bank bonds in the various capital markets of the world; and net earnings on its operations. In addition, sales of portions of Bank loans to other investors and repayments of loans permit the Bank to recover its funds, and thereby serve to reduce the amount which the Bank must obtain from other sources for its lending operations.

As the records of the Bretton Woods deliberations indicate, the emphasis from the beginning has been less on the Bank's lending from government- subscribed capital as on the concept of the Bank serving as a safe bridge for the movement of private capital into international investment. This explains one of the characteristics of the Bank, namely, that while it is an intergovernmental organization, much of its financial resources are derived from private investors. Of a total of $4,500 million disbursed on Bank . . .

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