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Definition: The World Bank
The World Bank, a global financial institution, was conceived at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 and founded by Lord Keynes and Harry Dexter White. Headquartered at Washington D.C., USA, it is currently presided by Jim Yong Kim. It is not exactly a bank in the ordinary sense of the term. It provides financial assistance to developing countries, mainly for capital projects.
World Bank sees reduction of poverty worldwide as its primary official goal. In the process, it also aims at promoting international trade, foreign and capital investments. Managed by 188 countries, it consists of two main bodies — the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). While IBRD focuses on middle-income and countries troubled by creditworthiness, IDA sees to the world’s poorest countries.
To achieve its goals, the methods used by World Bank are provision of loans at low interest rates, credits without interest and grants to the emerging economies. For its key operational areas, World Bank adopts two main strategies, viz. thematic and sector strategies (focusing on reducing poverty in a single sector) and country assistance strategies (identifying the key areas for working towards sustainable development.