World Bank

The World Bank (French: Banque mondiale)[3] is an international financial institution that provides loans[4] to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

The World Bank's most recent stated goal is the reduction of poverty.[5] As of November 2018, the largest recipients of world bank loans were India ($859 million in 2018) and China ($370 million in 2018), through loans from IBRD.[6][7]

World Bank
The World Bank logo
World Bank logo
MottoWorking for a World Free of Poverty
FormationJuly 1945
TypeMonetary International Financial Organization
Legal statusTreaty
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Membership
189 countries (IBRD)[1]
173 countries (IDA)[1]
Key people
Parent organization
World Bank Group
Websiteworldbank.org

World Bank Group

The World Bank is different from the World Bank Group, an extended family of five international organizations:

History

WhiteandKeynes
John Maynard Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White, the "founding fathers" of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[8]

The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American.[9] The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.C., and work closely with each other.

The Gold Room - Bretton Woods Mount Washington Hotel
The Gold Room at the Mount Washington Hotel where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank were established

Although many countries were represented at the Bretton Woods Conference, the United States and United Kingdom were the most powerful in attendance and dominated the negotiations.[10]:52–54 The intention behind the founding of the World Bank was to provide temporary loans to low-income countries which were unable to obtain loans commercially.[5] The Bank may also make loans and demand policy reforms from recipients.[5]

1944–1974

Before 1974, the reconstruction and development loans provided by the World Bank were relatively small. The Bank's staff were aware of the need to instill confidence in the bank. Fiscal conservatism ruled, and loan applications had to meet strict criteria.[10]:56–60

The first country to receive a World Bank loan was France. The Bank's president at the time, John McCloy, chose France over two other applicants, Poland and Chile. The loan was for US$250 million, half the amount requested, and it came with strict conditions. France had to agree to produce a balanced budget and give priority of debt repayment to the World Bank over other governments. World Bank staff closely monitored the use of the funds to ensure that the French government met the conditions. In addition, before the loan was approved, the United States State Department told the French government that its members associated with the Communist Party would first have to be removed. The French government complied and removed the Communist coalition government - the so-called tripartite. Within hours, the loan to France was approved.[11]:288, 290–291

When the Marshall Plan went into effect in 1947, many European countries began receiving aid from other sources. Faced with this competition, the World Bank shifted its focus to non-European countries. Until 1968, its loans were earmarked for the construction of infrastructure works, such as seaports, highway systems, and power plants, that would generate enough income to enable a borrower country to repay the loan. In 1960, the International Development Association was formed (as opposed to a UN fund named SUNFED), providing soft loans to developing countries.

1974–1980

From 1974 to 1980 the bank concentrated on meeting the basic needs of people in the developing world. The size and number of loans to borrowers was greatly increased as loan targets expanded from infrastructure into social services and other sectors.[12]

These changes can be attributed to Robert McNamara, who was appointed to the presidency in 1968 by Lyndon B. Johnson.[10]:60–63 McNamara implored bank treasurer Eugene Rotberg to seek out new sources of capital outside of the northern banks that had been the primary sources of funding. Rotberg used the global bond market to increase the capital available to the bank.[13] One consequence of the period of poverty alleviation lending was the rapid rise of third world debt. From 1976 to 1980 developing world debt rose at an average annual rate of 20%.[14][15]

In 1980 the World Bank Administrative Tribunal was established to decide on disputes between the World Bank Group and its staff where allegation of non-observance of contracts of employment or terms of appointment had not been honored.[16]

1980–1989

In 1980 McNamara was succeeded by US President Jimmy Carter's nominee, Alden W. Clausen.[17][18] Clausen replaced many members of McNamara's staff and crafted a different mission emphasis. His 1982 decision to replace the bank's Chief Economist, Hollis B. Chenery, with Anne Krueger was an example of this new focus. Krueger was known for her criticism of development funding and for describing Third World governments as "rent-seeking states."

During the 1980s the bank emphasized lending to service Third-World debt, and structural adjustment policies designed to streamline the economies of developing nations. UNICEF reported in the late 1980s that the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank had been responsible for "reduced health, nutritional and educational levels for tens of millions of children in Asia, Latin America, and Africa".[19]

1989–present

Beginning in 1989, in response to harsh criticism from many groups, the bank began including environmental groups and NGOs in its loans to mitigate the past effects of its development policies that had prompted the criticism.[10]:93–97 It also formed an implementing agency, in accordance with the Montreal Protocols, to stop ozone-depletion damage to the Earth's atmosphere by phasing out the use of 95% of ozone-depleting chemicals, with a target date of 2015. Since then, in accordance with its so-called "Six Strategic Themes", the bank has put various additional policies into effect to preserve the environment while promoting development. For example, in 1991 the bank announced that to protect against deforestation, especially in the Amazon, it would not finance any commercial logging or infrastructure projects that harm the environment.

In order to promote global public goods, the World Bank tries to control communicable disease such as malaria, delivering vaccines to several parts of the world and joining combat forces. In 2000 the bank announced a "war on AIDS" and in 2011 the Bank joined the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership.[20]

Traditionally, based on a tacit understanding between the United States and Europe, the president of the World Bank has always been selected from candidates nominated by the United States. In 2012, for the first time, two non-US citizens were nominated.

On 23 March 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would nominate Jim Yong Kim as the next president of the Bank.[21] Jim Yong Kim was elected on 27 April 2012 and re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. He announced that he will resign effective 1 February 2019.[22]

World Bank building at Washington
The World Bank Group headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

Criteria

Various developments had brought the Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015 within reach in some cases. For the goals to be realized, six criteria must be met: stronger and more inclusive growth in Africa and fragile states, more effort in health and education, integration of the development and environment agendas, more as well as better aid, movement on trade negotiations, and stronger and more focused support from multilateral institutions like the World Bank.[23]

  1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger: From 1990 through 2004 the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from almost a third to less than a fifth. Although results vary widely within regions and countries, the trend indicates that the world as a whole can meet the goal of halving the percentage of people living in poverty. Africa's poverty, however, is expected to rise, and most of the 36 countries where 90% of the world's undernourished children live are in Africa. Less than a quarter of countries are on track for achieving the goal of halving under-nutrition.
  2. Achieve Universal Primary Education: The percentage of children in school in developing countries increased from 80% in 1991 to 88% in 2005. Still, about 72 million children of primary school age, 57% of them girls, were not being educated as of 2005.
  3. Promote Gender Equality: The tide is turning slowly for women in the labor market, yet far more women than men- worldwide more than 60% – are contributing but unpaid family workers. The World Bank Group Gender Action Plan was created to advance women's economic empowerment and promote shared growth.
  4. Reduce Child Mortality: There is some improvement in survival rates globally; accelerated improvements are needed most urgently in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 10 million-plus children under five died in 2005; most of their deaths were from preventable causes.
  5. Improve Maternal Health: Almost all of the half million women who die during pregnancy or childbirth every year live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. There are numerous causes of maternal death that require a variety of health care interventions to be made widely accessible.
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases: Annual numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths have fallen, but the number of people living with HIV continues to grow. In the eight worst-hit southern African countries, prevalence is above 15 percent. Treatment has increased globally, but still meets only 30 percent of needs (with wide variations across countries). AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa (1.6 million deaths in 2007). There are 300 to 500 million cases of malaria each year, leading to more than 1 million deaths. Nearly all the cases and more than 95 percent of the deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability: Deforestation remains a critical problem, particularly in regions of biological diversity, which continues to decline. Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing faster than energy technology advancement.
  8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development: Donor countries have renewed their commitment. Donors have to fulfill their pledges to match the current rate of core program development. Emphasis is being placed on the Bank Group's collaboration with multilateral and local partners to quicken progress toward the MDGs' realization.

To make sure that World Bank-financed operations do not compromise these goals but instead add to their realisation, environmental, social and legal safeguards were defined. However, these safeguards have not been implemented entirely yet. At the World Bank's annual meeting in Tokyo 2012 a review of these safeguards has been initiated, which was welcomed by several civil society organisations.[24]

Leadership

Jim Yong Kim (cropped)
Jim Yong Kim, the current President of the World Bank Group

The President of the Bank is the president of the entire World Bank Group. The president is responsible for chairing the meetings of the Boards of Directors and for overall management of the Bank. Traditionally, the President of the Bank has always been a US citizen nominated by the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank (the managing director of the International Monetary Fund having always been a European). The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Executive Directors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term. While most World Bank presidents have had banking experience, some have not.[25][26]

The vice presidents of the Bank are its principal managers, in charge of regions, sectors, networks and functions. There are two Executive Vice presidents, three Senior Vice presidents, and 24 Vice presidents.[27]

The Boards of Directors consist of the World Bank Group President and 25 Executive Directors. The President is the presiding officer, and ordinarily has no vote except a deciding vote in case of an equal division. The Executive Directors as individuals cannot exercise any power nor commit or represent the Bank unless specifically authorized by the Boards to do so. With the term beginning 1 November 2010, the number of Executive Directors increased by one, to 25.[28]

Presidents

Name Dates Nationality Previous work
Eugene Meyer 1946–1946 United States Newspaper publisher and Chairman of the Federal Reserve
John J. McCloy 1947–1949 United States Lawyer and US Assistant Secretary of War
Eugene R. Black, Sr. 1949–1963 United States Bank executive with Chase and executive director with the World Bank
George Woods 1963–1968 United States Bank executive with First Boston Corporation
Robert McNamara 1968–1981 United States President of the Ford Motor Company, US Defense Secretary under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson who escalated the Vietnam War[29]
Alden W. Clausen 1981–1986 United States Lawyer, bank executive with Bank of America
Barber Conable 1986–1991 United States New York State Senator and US Congressman
Lewis T. Preston 1991–1995 United States Bank executive with J.P. Morgan
James Wolfensohn 1995–2005 United States
Australia (prev.)
Wolfensohn was a naturalised American citizen before taking office. Corporate lawyer and banker
Paul Wolfowitz 2005–2007 United States US Ambassador to Indonesia, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, prominent architect of 2003 invasion of Iraq, resigned World Bank post due to ethics scandal[30]
Robert Zoellick 2007–2012 United States Deputy Secretary of State and US Trade Representative
Jim Yong Kim 2012–2019 United States
South Korea (prev.)
Former Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard, president of Dartmouth College, naturalized American citizen[31]

Chief Economists

Name Dates Nationality
Hollis B. Chenery 1972–1982 United States
Anne Osborn Krueger 1982–1986 United States
Stanley Fischer 1988–1990 United States
Lawrence Summers 1991–1993 United States
Michael Bruno 1993–1996 Israel
Joseph E. Stiglitz 1997–2000 United States
Nicholas Stern 2000–2003 United Kingdom
François Bourguignon 2003–2007 France
Justin Yifu Lin 2008–2012 China
Kaushik Basu 2012–2016 India
Shanta Sharanja 2016–2018 United States

[32]

Members

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 189 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 173 members. Each member state of IBRD should be also a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank (such as IDA).[1]

Voting power

In 2010 voting powers at the World Bank were revised to increase the voice of developing countries, notably China. The countries with most voting power are now the United States (15.85%), Japan (6.84%), China (4.42%), Germany (4.00%), the United Kingdom (3.75%), France (3.75%), India (2.91%),[33] Russia (2.77%), Saudi Arabia (2.77%) and Italy (2.64%). Under the changes, known as 'Voice Reform – Phase 2', countries other than China that saw significant gains included South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Greece, Brazil, India, and Spain. Most developed countries' voting power was reduced, along with a few developing countries such as Nigeria. The voting powers of the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia were unchanged.[34][35]

The changes were brought about with the goal of making voting more universal in regards to standards, rule-based with objective indicators, and transparent among other things. Now, developing countries have an increased voice in the "Pool Model", backed especially by Europe. Additionally, voting power is based on economic size in addition to International Development Association contributions.[36]

List of 20 largest countries by voting power in each World Bank institution

The following table shows the subscriptions of the top 20 member countries of the World Bank by voting power in the following World Bank institutions as of December 2014 or March 2015: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Member countries are allocated votes at the time of membership and subsequently for additional subscriptions to capital (one vote for each share of capital stock held by the member).[37][38][39][40]

The 20 Largest Countries by voting power (Number of Votes)
Rank Country IBRD Country IFC Country IDA Country MIGA
World 2,201,754 World 2,653,476 World 24,682,951 World 218,237
1 United States 358,498 United States 570,179 United States 2,546,503 United States 32,790
2 Japan 166,094 Japan 163,334 Japan 2,112,243 Japan 9,205
3 China 107,244 Germany 129,708 United Kingdom 1,510,934 Germany 9,162
4 Germany 97,224 France 121,815 Germany 1,368,001 France 8,791
5 France 87,241 United Kingdom 121,815 France 908,843 United Kingdom 8,791
6 United Kingdom 87,241 India 103,747 Saudi Arabia 810,293 China 5,756
7 India 67,690 Russia 103,653 India 661,909 Russia 5,754
8 Saudi Arabia 67,155 Canada 82,142 Canada 629,658 Saudi Arabia 5,754
9 Canada 59,004 Italy 82,142 Italy 573,858 India 5,597
10 Italy 54,877 China 62,392 China 521,830 Canada 5,451
11 Russia 54,651 Netherlands 56,931 Poland 498,102 Italy 5,196
12 Spain 42,948 Belgium 51,410 Sweden 494,360 Netherlands 4,048
13 Brazil 42,613 Australia 48,129 Netherlands 488,209 Belgium 3,803
14 Netherlands 42,348 Switzerland 44,863 Brazil 412,322 Australia 3,245
15 Korea 36,591 Brazil 40,279 Australia 312,566 Switzerland 2,869
16 Belgium 36,463 Mexico 38,929 Switzerland 275,755 Brazil 2,832
17 Iran 34,718 Spain 37,826 Belgium 275,474 Spain 2,491
18 Switzerland 33,296 Indonesia 32,402 Norway 258,209 Argentina 2,436
19 Australia 30,910 Saudi Arabia 30,862 Denmark 231,685 Indonesia 2,075
20 Turkey 26,293 Korea 28,895 Pakistan 218,506 Sweden 2,075

Poverty reduction strategies

For the poorest developing countries in the world, the bank's assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining a cross-section of local groups with an extensive analysis of the country's financial and economic situation the World Bank develops a strategy pertaining uniquely to the country in question. The government then identifies the country's priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly.

Forty-five countries pledged US$25.1 billion in "aid for the world's poorest countries", aid that goes to the World Bank International Development Association (IDA), which distributes the loans to eighty poorer countries. While wealthier nations sometimes fund their own aid projects, including those for diseases, and although IDA is the recipient of criticism, Robert B. Zoellick, the former president of the World Bank, said when the loans were announced on 15 December 2007, that IDA money "is the core funding that the poorest developing countries rely on".[41]

World Bank organizes Development Marketplace Awards, a competitive grant program that surfaces and funds innovative, development projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. The grant beneficiaries are social enterprises with projects that aim to deliver a range of social and public services to the most underserved low-income groups.

Global partnerships and initiatives

The World Bank has been assigned temporary management responsibility of the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), focused on making renewable energy cost-competitive with coal-fired power as quickly as possible, but this may not continue after UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in December 2009, because of the Bank's continued investment in coal-fired power plants.[42]

Together with the World Health Organization, the World Bank administers the International Health Partnership (IHP+). IHP+ is a group of partners committed to improving the health of citizens in developing countries. Partners work together to put international principles for aid effectiveness and development cooperation into practice in the health sector. IHP+ mobilizes national governments, development agencies, civil society and others to support a single, country-led national health strategy in a well-coordinated way.

Climate change

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in 2012 that:

"A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2 degrees ... Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest."[43] A World Bank report into Climate change in 2012 noted that (p. xiii): "Even with the current mitigation commitments and pledges fully implemented, there is roughly a 20 percent likelihood of exceeding 4 °C by 2100." This is despite the fact that the "global community has committed itself to holding warming below 2 °C to prevent 'dangerous' climate change". Furthermore: "A series of recent extreme events worldwide highlight the vulnerability of all countries ... No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change."[44]

The World Bank doubled its aid for climate change adaptation from $2.3bn (£1.47bn) in 2011 to $4.6bn in 2012. The planet is now 0.8 °C warmer than in pre-industrial times. It says that 2 °C warming will be reached in 20 to 30 years.[45][46]

Food security

  1. Global Food Security Program: Launched in April 2010, six countries alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged $925 million for food security. To date, the program has helped 8 countries, promoting agriculture, research, trade in agriculture, etc.
  2. Launched Global Food Crisis Response Program: Given grants to approximately 40 nations for seeds, etc. for improving productivity.
  3. In process of increasing its yearly spending for agriculture to $6 billion–$8 billion from earlier $4 billion.
  4. Runs several nutrition program across the world, e.g., vitamin A doses for children, school meals, etc.

Training wings

World Bank Institute

The World Bank Institute (WBI) creates learning opportunities for countries, World Bank staff and clients, and people committed to poverty reduction and sustainable development. WBI's work program includes training, policy consultations, and the creation and support of knowledge networks related to international economic and social development.

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a "global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction". It aims to inspire change agents and prepare them with essential tools that can help achieve development results. WBI has four major strategies to approach development problems: innovation for development, knowledge exchange, leadership and coalition building, and structured learning. World Bank Institute (WBI) was formerly known as Economic Development Institute (EDI), established on 11 March 1955 with the support of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The purpose of the institute was to serve as provide an open place where senior officials from developing countries could discuss development policies and programs. Over the years, EDI grew significantly and in 2000, the Institute was renamed as the World Bank Institute. Currently Sanjay Pradhan is the Vice President of the World Bank Institute.[47]

Global Development Learning Network

The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is a partnership of over 120 learning centers (GDLN Affiliates) in nearly 80 countries around the world. GDLN Affiliates collaborate in holding events that connect people across countries and regions for learning and dialogue on development issues.

GDLN clients are typically NGOs, government, private sector and development agencies who find that they work better together on subregional, regional or global development issues using the facilities and tools offered by GDLN Affiliates. Clients also benefit from the ability of Affiliates to help them choose and apply these tools effectively, and to tap development practitioners and experts worldwide. GDLN Affiliates facilitate around 1000 videoconference-based activities a year on behalf of their clients, reaching some 90,000 people worldwide. Most of these activities bring together participants in two or more countries over a series of sessions. A majority of GDLN activities are organized by small government agencies and NGOs.

GDLN Asia Pacific

The GDLN in the East Asia and Pacific region has experienced rapid growth and Distance Learning Centers now operate, or are planned in 20 countries: Australia, Mongolia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste, Fiji, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and New Zealand. With over 180 Distance Learning Centers, it is the largest development learning network in the Asia and Pacific region. The Secretariat Office of GDLN Asia Pacific is located in the Center of Academic Resources of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

GDLN Asia Pacific was launched at the GDLN's East Asia and Pacific regional meeting held in Bangkok from 22 to 24 May 2006. Its vision is to become "the premier network exchanging ideas, experience and know-how across the Asia Pacific Region". GDLN Asia Pacific is a separate entity to The World Bank. It has endorsed its own Charter and Business Plan and, in accordance with the Charter, a GDLN Asia Pacific Governing Committee has been appointed.

The committee comprises China (2), Australia (1), Thailand (1), The World Bank (1) and finally, a nominee of the Government of Japan (1). The organization is currently hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, founding member of the GDLN Asia Pacific.

The Governing Committee has determined that the most appropriate legal status for the GDLN AP in Thailand is a "Foundation". The World Bank is currently engaging a solicitor in Thailand to process all documentation in order to obtain this legal status.

GDLN Asia Pacific is built on the principle of shared resources among partners engaged in a common task, and this is visible in the organizational structures that exist, as the network evolves. Physical space for its headquarters is provided by the host of the GDLN Centre in Thailand – Chulalongkorn University; Technical expertise and some infrastructure is provided by the Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC); Fiduciary services are provided by Australian National University (ANU) Until the GDLN Asia Pacific is established as a legal entity tin Thailand, ANU, has offered to assist the governing committee, by providing a means of managing the inflow and outflow of funds and of reporting on them. This admittedly results in some complexity in contracting arrangements, which need to be worked out on a case by case basis and depends to some extent on the legal requirements of the countries involved.

JUSTPAL Network

A Justice Sector Peer-Assisted Learning (JUSTPAL) Network was launched in April 2011 by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Department of the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region. The JUSTPAL objective is to provide an online and offline platform for justice professionals to exchange knowledge, good practices and peer-driven improvements to justice systems and thereby support countries to improve their justice sector performance, quality of justice and service delivery to citizens and businesses.

The JUSTPAL Network includes representatives of judiciaries, ministries of justice, prosecutors, anti-corruption agencies and other justice-related entities from across the globe. The Network currently has active members from more than 50 countries.

To facilitate fruitful exchange of reform experiences and sharing of applicable good practices, the JUSTPAL Network has organized its activities under (currently) five Communities of Practice (COPs): (i) Budgeting for the Justice Sector; (ii) Information Systems for Justice Services; (iii) Justice Sector Physical Infrastructure; (iv) Court Management and Administration; and (v) Prosecution and Anti-Corruption Agencies.

Country assistance strategies

As a guideline to the World Bank's operations in any particular country, a Country Assistance Strategy is produced, in cooperation with the local government and any interested stakeholders and may rely on analytical work performed by the Bank or other parties.

Clean Air Initiative

Clean Air Initiative (CAI) is a World Bank initiative to advance innovative ways to improve air quality in cities through partnerships in selected regions of the world by sharing knowledge and experiences. It includes electric vehicles.[48] Initiatives like this help address and tackle pollution-related diseases.

United Nations Development Business

Based on an agreement between the United Nations and the World Bank in 1981, Development Business became the official source for World Bank Procurement Notices, Contract Awards, and Project Approvals.[49]

In 1998, the agreement was re-negotiated, and included in this agreement was a joint venture to create an electronic version of the publication via the World Wide Web. Today, Development Business is the primary publication for all major multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies, and several national governments, many of whom have made the publication of their tenders and contracts in Development Business a mandatory requirement.[49]

The World Bank or the World Bank Group is also a sitting observer in the United Nations Development Group.[50]

Open data initiative

The World Bank collects and processes large amounts of data and generates them on the basis of economic models. These data and models have gradually been made available to the public in a way that encourages reuse,[51] whereas the recent publications describing them are available as open access under a Creative Commons Attribution License, for which the bank received the SPARC Innovator 2012 award.[52]

The World Bank also endorses the Principles for Digital Development.[53]

Grants table

The following table lists the top 15 DAC 5 Digit Sectors[54] to which the World Bank has committed funding, as recorded by it in its International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) publications. The World Bank states on the IATI Registry website that the amounts "will cover 100% of IBRD and IDA development flows" but will not cover other development flows.[55]

Committed funding (US$ millions)
Sector Before 2007 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Sum
Road transport 4,654.2 1,993.5 1,501.8 5,550.3 4,032.3 2,603.7 3,852.5 2,883.6 3,081.7 3,922.6 723.7 34,799.8
Social/ welfare services 613.1 208.1 185.5 2,878.4 1,477.4 1,493.2 1,498.5 2,592.6 2,745.4 1,537.7 73.6 15,303.5
Electrical transmission/ distribution 1,292.5 862.1 1,740.2 2,435.4 1,465.1 907.7 1,614.9 395.7 2,457.1 1,632.2 374.8 15,177.8
Public finance management 334.2 223.1 499.7 129.0 455.3 346.6 3,156.8 2,724.0 3,160.5 2,438.9 690.5 14,158.6
Rail transport 279.3 284.4 1,289.0 912.2 892.5 1,487.4 841.8 740.6 1,964.9 1,172.2 −1.6 9,862.5
Rural development 335.4 237.5 382.8 616.7 2,317.4 972.0 944.0 177.8 380.9 1,090.3 −2.5 7,452.4
Urban development and management 261.2 375.9 733.3 739.6 542.1 1,308.1 914.3 258.9 747.3 1,122.1 212.2 7,214.9
Business support services and institutions 113.3 20.8 721.7 181.4 363.3 514.0 310.0 760.1 1,281.9 1,996.0 491.3 6,753.7
Energy policy and administrative management 102.5 243.0 324.9 234.2 762.0 654.9 902.1 480.5 1,594.2 1,001.8 347.9 6,648.0
Agricultural water resources 733.2 749.5 84.6 251.8 780.6 819.5 618.3 1,040.3 1,214.8 824.0 −105.8 7,011.0
Decentralisation and support to subnational government 904.5 107.9 176.1 206.7 331.2 852.8 880.6 466.8 1,417.0 432.5 821.3 6,597.3
Disaster prevention and preparedness 66.9 2.7 260.0 9.0 417.2 609.5 852.9 373.5 1,267.8 1,759.7 114.2 5,733.5
Sanitation - large systems 441.9 679.7 521.6 422.0 613.1 1,209.4 268.0 55.4 890.6 900.8 93.9 6,096.3
Water supply - large systems 646.5 438.1 298.3 486.5 845.1 640.2 469.0 250.5 1,332.4 609.9 224.7 6,241.3
Health policy and administrative management 661.3 54.8 285.8 673.8 1,581.4 799.3 251.5 426.3 154.8 368.1 496.0 5,753.1
Other 13,162.7 6,588.3 8,707.1 11,425.7 17,099.5 11,096.6 16,873.4 13,967.1 20,057.6 21,096.5 3,070.3 140,074.5
Total 24,602.6 13,069.4 17,712.6 27,152.6 33,975.6 26,314.8 34,248.6 27,593.9 43,748.8 41,905.2 7,624.5 297,948.5

Open Knowledge Repository

The World Bank hosts the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR)[56] as an official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products.
The World Bank's repository is listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories re3data.org.[57]

Criticisms and controversy

The World Bank has long been criticized by non-governmental organizations, such as the indigenous rights group Survival International, and academics, including its former Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, Henry Hazlitt and Ludwig Von Mises.[58][59][60] Henry Hazlitt argued that the World Bank along with the monetary system it was designed within would promote world inflation and "a world in which international trade is State-dominated" when they were being advocated.[61] Stiglitz argued that the so-called free market reform policies that the Bank advocates are often harmful to economic development if implemented badly, too quickly ("shock therapy"), in the wrong sequence or in weak, uncompetitive economies.[59][62] Similarly, Carmine Guerriero notices that these reforms have introduced in developing countries regulatory institutions typical of the common law legal tradition because allegedly more efficient according to the legal origins theory. The latter however has been fiercely criticized since it does not take into account that the legal institutions transplanted during the European colonization have been then reformed.[63] This issue makes the legal origins theory's inference unreliable and the World Bank reforms detrimental.[64]

One of the strongest criticisms of the World Bank has been the way in which it is governed. While the World Bank represents 188 countries, it is run by a small number of economically powerful countries. These countries (which also provide most of the institution's funding) choose the leadership and senior management of the World Bank, and their interests dominate the bank.[65]:190 Titus Alexander argues that the unequal voting power of western countries and the World Bank's role in developing countries makes it similar to the South African Development Bank under apartheid, and therefore a pillar of global apartheid.[66]:133–141

In the 1990s, the World Bank and the IMF forged the Washington Consensus, policies that included deregulation and liberalization of markets, privatization and the downscaling of government. Though the Washington Consensus was conceived as a policy that would best promote development, it was criticized for ignoring equity, employment and how reforms like privatization were carried out. Joseph Stiglitz argued that the Washington Consensus placed too much emphasis on the growth of GDP, and not enough on the permanence of growth or on whether growth contributed to better living standards.[60]:17

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report criticized the World Bank and other international financial institutions for focusing too much "on issuing loans rather than on achieving concrete development results within a finite period of time" and called on the institution to "strengthen anti-corruption efforts".[67]

James Ferguson has argued that the main effect of many development projects carried out by the World Bank and similar organizations is not the alleviation of poverty. Instead the projects often serve to expand the exercise of bureaucratic state power. Through his case-studies of development projects in Thaba-Tseka he shows that the World Bank's characterization of the economic conditions in Lesotho was flawed, and the Bank ignored the political and cultural character of the state in crafting their projects. As a result, the projects failed to help the poor, but succeeded in expanding the government bureaucracy.[68]

Criticism of the World Bank and other organizations often takes the form of protesting as seen in recent events such as the World Bank Oslo 2002 Protests,[69] the October Rebellion,[70] and the Battle of Seattle.[71] Such demonstrations have occurred all over the world, even among the Brazilian Kayapo people.[72]

Another source of criticism has been the tradition of having an American head the bank, implemented because the United States provides the majority of World Bank funding. "When economists from the World Bank visit poor countries to dispense cash and advice", observed The Economist in 2012, "they routinely tell governments to reject cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available. It is good advice. The World Bank should take it."[73] Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American, is the most recently appointed president of the World Bank.[74]

Structural adjustment

The effect of structural adjustment policies on poor countries has been one of the most significant criticisms of the World Bank.[75] The 1979 energy crisis plunged many countries into economic crisis.[76]:68 The World Bank responded with structural adjustment loans, which distributed aid to struggling countries while enforcing policy changes in order to reduce inflation and fiscal imbalance. Some of these policies included encouraging production, investment and labour-intensive manufacturing, changing real exchange rates and altering the distribution of government resources. Structural adjustment policies were most effective in countries with an institutional framework that allowed these policies to be implemented easily. For some countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth regressed and inflation worsened. The alleviation of poverty was not a goal of structural adjustment loans, and the circumstances of the poor often worsened, due to a reduction in social spending and an increase in the price of food, as subsidies were lifted.[76]:69

By the late 1980s, international organizations began to admit that structural adjustment policies were worsening life for the world's poor. The World Bank changed structural adjustment loans, allowing for social spending to be maintained, and encouraging a slower change to policies such as transfer of subsidies and price rises.[76]:70 In 1999, the World Bank and the IMF introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach to replace structural adjustment loans.[77]:147 The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach has been interpreted as an extension of structural adjustment policies as it continues to reinforce and legitimize global inequities. Neither approach has addressed the inherent flaws within the global economy that contribute to economic and social inequities within developing countries.[77]:152

Fairness of assistance conditions

Some critics,[78] most prominently the author Naomi Klein, are of the opinion that the World Bank Group's loans and aid have unfair conditions attached to them that reflect the interests, financial power and political doctrines (notably the Washington Consensus) of the Bank and, by extension, the countries that are most influential within it. Among other allegations, Klein says the Group's credibility was damaged "when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatise its water system; when it made telecom privatisation a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labour 'flexibility' in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq".[79]

Sovereign immunity

The World Bank requires sovereign immunity from countries it deals with.[80][81][82] Sovereign immunity waives a holder from all legal liability for their actions. It is proposed that this immunity from responsibility is a "shield which The World Bank wants to resort to, for escaping accountability and security by the people."[80] As the United States has veto power, it can prevent the World Bank from taking action against its interests.[80]

PricewaterhouseCoopers

World Bank favored PricewaterhouseCoopers as a consultant in a bid for privatizing the water distribution in Delhi, India[83]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

Ease of doing business index

The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov at the World Bank Group. The academic research for the report was done jointly with professors Oliver Hart and Andrei Shleifer. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Empirical research funded by the World Bank to justify their work show that the economic growth impact of improving these regulations is strong."Empirical research is needed to establish the optimal level of business regulation—for example, what the duration of court procedures should be and what the optimal degree of social protection is. The indicators compiled in the Doing Business project allow such research to take place. Since the start of the project in November 2001, more than 3,000 academic papers have used one or more indicators constructed in Doing Business and the related background papers by its authors."

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is an international financial institution that offers loans to middle-income developing countries. The IBRD is the first of five member institutions that compose the World Bank Group, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. It was established in 1944 with the mission of financing the reconstruction of European nations devastated by World War II. The IBRD and its concessional lending arm, the International Development Association, are collectively known as the World Bank as they share the same leadership and staff. Following the reconstruction of Europe, the Bank's mandate expanded to advancing worldwide economic development and eradicating poverty. The IBRD provides commercial-grade or concessional financing to sovereign states to fund projects that seek to improve transportation and infrastructure, education, domestic policy, environmental consciousness, energy investments, healthcare, access to food and potable water, and access to improved sanitation.

The IBRD is owned and governed by its member states, but has its own executive leadership and staff which conduct its normal business operations. The Bank's member governments are shareholders which contribute paid-in capital and have the right to vote on its matters. In addition to contributions from its member nations, the IBRD acquires most of its capital by borrowing on international capital markets through bond issues. In 2011, it raised $29 billion USD in capital from bond issues made in 26 different currencies. The Bank offers a number of financial services and products, including flexible loans, grants, risk guarantees, financial derivatives, and catastrophic risk financing. It reported lending commitments of $26.7 billion made to 132 projects in 2011.

International Development Association

The International Development Association (IDA) is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. It was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income. Together, the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are collectively generally known as the World Bank, as they follow the same executive leadership and operate with the same staff.The association shares the World Bank's mission of reducing poverty and aims to provide affordable development financing to countries whose credit risk is so prohibitive that they cannot afford to borrow commercially or from the Bank's other programs. The IDA's stated aim is to assist the poorest nations in growing more quickly, equitably, and sustainably to reduce poverty. The IDA is the single largest provider of funds to economic and human development projects in the world's poorest nations. From 2000 to 2010, it financed projects which recruited and trained 3 million teachers, immunized 310 million children, funded $792 million in loans to 120,000 small and medium enterprises, built or restored 118,000 kilometers of paved roads, built or restored 1,600 bridges, and expanded access to improved water to 113 million people and improved sanitation facilities to 5.8 million people. The IDA has issued a total $238 billion USD in loans and grants since its launch in 1960. Thirty-six of the association's borrowing countries have graduated from their eligibility for its concessional lending. However, eight of these countries have relapsed and have not re-graduated.

International Finance Corporation

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in developing countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development. The IFC's stated aim is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by mobilizing financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets, supporting businesses and other private-sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary services to those who are poverty stricken or otherwise vulnerable.Since 2009, the IFC has focused on a set of development goals that its projects are expected to target. Its goals are to increase sustainable agriculture opportunities, improve healthcare and education, increase access to financing for microfinance and business clients, advance infrastructure, help small businesses grow revenues, and invest in climate health.The IFC is owned and governed by its member countries but has its own executive leadership and staff that conduct its normal business operations. It is a corporation whose shareholders are member governments that provide paid-in capital and have the right to vote on its matters. Originally, it was more financially integrated with the World Bank Group, but later, the IFC was established separately and eventually became authorized to operate as a financially-autonomous entity and make independent investment decisions. It offers an array of debt and equity financing services and helps companies face their risk exposures while refraining from participating in a management capacity. The corporation also offers advice to companies on making decisions, evaluating their impact on the environment and society, and being responsible. It advises governments on building infrastructure and partnerships to further support private sector development.

The corporation is assessed by an independent evaluator each year. In 2011, its evaluation report recognized that its investments performed well and reduced poverty, but recommended that the corporation define poverty and expected outcomes more explicitly to better-understand its effectiveness and approach poverty reduction more strategically. The corporation's total investments in 2011 amounted to $18.66 billion. It committed $820 million to advisory services for 642 projects in 2011, and held $24.5 billion worth of liquid assets. The IFC is in good financial standing and received the highest ratings from two independent credit rating agencies in 2018.IFC comes under frequent criticism from NGOs that it is not able to track its money because of its use of financial intermediaries. For example, a report by Oxfam International and other NGOs in 2015, "The Suffering of Others," found the IFC was not performing enough due diligence and managing risk in many of its investments in third-party lenders.Other criticism focuses on IFC working excessively with large companies or wealthy individuals already able to finance their investments without help from public institutions such as IFC, and such investments do not have an adequate positive development impact. An example often cited by NGOs and critical journalists is IFC granting financing to a Saudi prince for a five-star hotel in Ghana.

International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of "189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world." Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had SDR477 billion (about $667 billion).Through the fund, and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries. The organisation's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty.

IMF funds come from two major sources:quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds. The size of a member's quota depends on its economic and financial importance in the world. Nations with larger economic importance have larger quotas. The quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources.

The current Managing Director (MD) and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund is French lawyer and former politician, Christine Lagarde, who has held the post since 5 July 2011.

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim (Hangul: 짐용김; born December 8, 1959), also known as Kim Yong (김용/金墉), is a Korean-American physician and anthropologist who served as the 12th President of the World Bank from 2012-2019. On January 7, 2019, he announced that he would be stepping down from his current role as President, effective February 1, 2019.A global health leader, he was formerly the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health before serving as the President of Dartmouth College from 2009 to 2012, becoming the first Asian American president of an Ivy League institution.Kim was named the world's 50th most powerful person by Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013.

Katherine Maher

Katherine Roberts Maher (born April 18, 1983) is the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, a position she has held since June 2016. Previously she was chief communications officer. In addition to a background in the field of information and communications technology, Maher has worked in the non-profit and international sectors focusing on the use of technology to empower human rights and international development.

List of countries by GNI (nominal) per capita

This is a list of countries by Gross National Income per capita in 2017 at nominal values, according to the Atlas method, an indicator of income developed by the World Bank.

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is an international financial institution which offers political risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees. These guarantees help investors protect foreign direct investments against political and non-commercial risks in developing countries. MIGA is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

MIGA was established in 1988 as an investment insurance facility to encourage confident investment in developing countries. MIGA is owned and governed by its member states, but has its own executive leadership and staff which carry out its daily operations. Its shareholders are member governments that provide paid-in capital and have the right to vote on its matters. It insures long-term debt and equity investments as well as other assets and contracts with long-term periods. The agency is assessed by the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group each year.

Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (; born December 22, 1943) is an American political scientist and diplomat who served as the 10th President of the World Bank, United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, working on issues of international economic development, Africa and public-private partnerships, and chairman of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council.He is considered to be a leading neoconservative. However, Wolfowitz rejects the term and prefers to call himself a "Scoop Jackson Republican", after Democratic U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson who was known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.After serving two years, he resigned as president of the World Bank Group due to scandals described by a Reuters report as "a protracted battle over his stewardship, prompted by his involvement in a high-paying promotion for his companion".

Poverty

Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.The threshold at which absolute poverty is defined is considered to be about the same, independent of the person's permanent location or era. On the other hand, relative poverty occurs when a person who lives in a given country does not enjoy a certain minimum level of "living standards" as compared to the rest of the population of that country. Therefore, the threshold at which relative poverty is defined varies from country to another, or from one society to another.Providing basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government's ability to deliver services, such as corruption, tax avoidance, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, economic freedoms and providing financial services.Poverty reduction is still a major issue (or a target) for many international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development, Oxfam, CARE, World Vision International, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Red Cross among a plethora of others.

Poverty in India

India has a significant problem of poverty, despite being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It had a growth rate of 7.11% in 2015, and a sizable consumer economy. The World Bank reviewed and proposed revisions on May 2014 to its poverty calculation methodology and purchasing power parity basis for measuring poverty worldwide. According to this revised methodology, the world had 872.3 million people below the new poverty line, India had third highest number of people living in extreme poverty in after Nigeria and Congo in January 2019. Although, it was a minimal 3.6% in terms of percentage. As of 2014, 58% of the total population were living on less than $3.10 per day. According to the Modified Mixed Reference Period (MMRP) concept proposed by World Bank in 2015, India's poverty rate for period 2011-12 stood at 12.4% of the total population, or about 172 million people; taking the revised poverty line as $1.90.

The World Bank has been revising its definition and benchmarks to measure up poverty since 1990, with a $2 per day income on purchasing power parity basis as the definition in use from 2005 to 2013. Some semi-economic and non-economic indices have also been proposed to measure poverty in India; for example, the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index placed 33% weight on number of years spent in school and education and 6.25% weight on financial condition of a person, in order to determine if that a person is poor.The different definitions and different underlying small sample surveys used to determine poverty in India, have resulted in widely different estimates of poverty from 1950s to 2010s. In 2012, the Indian government stated 22% of its population is below its official poverty limit. The World Bank, in 2011 based on 2005's PPPs International Comparison Program, estimated 23.6% of Indian population, or about 276 million people, lived below $1.25 per day on purchasing power parity. According to United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) programme 270 millions or 21.9% people out of 1.2 billion of Indians lived below poverty line of $1.25 in 2011-2012.From late 19th century through early 20th century, under British colonial rule, poverty in India intensified, peaking in the 1920s. Famines and diseases killed millions each time. After India gained its independence in 1947, mass deaths from famines were prevented. Rapid economic growth since 1991, has led to sharp reductions in extreme poverties in India. However, those above poverty line live a fragile economic life.As per the methodology of the Suresh Tendulkar Committee report, the population below the poverty line in India in 2009-2010 was 354 million (29.6% of the population) and that in 2011-2012 was 269 million (21.9% of the population). The Rangarajan Committee said in 2014 that the population below the poverty line in 2009-2010 was 454 million (38.2% of the population) and that in 2011-2012 was 363 million (29.5% of the population). Deutsche Bank Research estimated that there are nearly 300 million people who are middle class. If former trends continue, India's share of world GDP will significantly increase from 7.3% in 2016 to 8.5% by 2020. In 2015, around 170 million people, or 12.4%, lived in poverty (defined as $1.90 (Rs 123.5)), a reduction from 29.8% in 2009.The Asian Development Bank estimates India's population to be at 1.28 billion with an average growth rate, from 2010-2015, at 1.3%. In 2014, 49.9% of the population aged 15 years and above were employed. However, there are still 21.9% of the population who live below the national poverty line. The World Poverty Clock shows real-time poverty trends in India, which are based on the latest data, of the World Bank, among others.

From November 2017, the World Bank started reporting poverty rates for all countries using two new international poverty lines: a "lower middle-income" line set at $3.20 per day and an "upper middle-income" line set at $5.50 per day. India falls in the lower middle-income category. Using the $3.20 per day poverty line, the percentage of the population living in poverty in India was 60% (2011). This means that 763 million people in India were living below this poverty line in 2011.

Poverty threshold

The poverty threshold, poverty limit or poverty line is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. In practice, like the definition of poverty, the official or common understanding of the poverty line is significantly higher in developed countries than in developing countries. In 2008, the World Bank came out with a figure (revised largely due to inflation) of $1.25 a day at 2005 purchasing-power parity (PPP). In October 2015, the World Bank updated the international poverty line to $1.90 a day. The new figure of $1.90 is based on ICP purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations and represents the international equivalent of what $1.90 could buy in the US in 2011. The new IPL replaces the $1.25 per day figure, which used 2005 data. Most scholars agree that it better reflects today's reality, particularly new price levels in developing countries. The common international poverty line has in the past been roughly $1 a day. At present the percentage of the global population living under extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10% according to the World Bank projections released in 2015, although this figure is claimed by scholars to be artificially low due to the effective reduction of the IPL in 2015 Determining the poverty line is usually done by finding the total cost of all the essential resources that an average human adult consumes in one year. The largest of these expenses is typically the rent required to live in an apartment, so historically, economists have paid particular attention to the real estate market and housing prices as a strong poverty line affector. Individual factors are often used to account for various circumstances, such as whether one is a parent, elderly, a child, married, etc. The poverty threshold may be adjusted annually.

Robert McNamara

Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American business executive and the eighth United States Secretary of Defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He played a major role in escalating the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis in public policy, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis.He was born in San Francisco, California, graduated from UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School and served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, Henry Ford II hired McNamara and a group of other Army Air Force veterans to work for Ford Motor Company. These "Whiz Kids" helped reform Ford with modern planning, organization, and management control systems. After briefly serving as Ford's president, McNamara accepted appointment as Secretary of Defense.

McNamara became a close adviser to Kennedy and advocated the use of a blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy and McNamara instituted a Cold War defense strategy of flexible response, which anticipated the need for military responses short of massive retaliation. McNamara consolidated intelligence and logistics functions of the Pentagon into two centralized agencies: the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Supply Agency. During the Kennedy administration, McNamara presided over a build-up of US soldiers in South Vietnam. After the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, the number of US soldiers in Vietnam escalated dramatically. McNamara and other US policymakers feared that the fall of South Vietnam to a Communist regime would lead to the fall of other governments in the region.

McNamara grew increasingly skeptical of the efficacy of committing US soldiers to Vietnam. In 1968, McNamara resigned as Secretary of Defense to become President of the World Bank. He remains the longest serving Secretary of Defense, having remained in office over seven years. He served as President of the World Bank until 1981, shifting the focus of the World Bank towards poverty reduction. After retiring, he served as a trustee of several organizations, including the California Institute of Technology and the Brookings Institution.

Rwanda

Rwanda ( (listen); Kinyarwanda: U Rwanda [u.ɾɡwaː.nda] (listen)), officially the Republic of Rwanda (Kinyarwanda: Repubulika y'u Rwanda; Swahili: Jamhuri ya Rwanda; French: République du Rwanda), is a country in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.

The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda, although within this group there are three subgroups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people descended from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. Scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe differences are derived from former social castes within a single people, while others believe the Hutu and Tutsi arrived in the country separately, and from different locations. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French serving as additional official languages. The sovereign state of Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), who took office in 2000. Rwanda today has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five provinces delineated by borders drawn in 2006. Rwanda is one of only two countries with a female majority in the national parliament.

Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed later by Bantu peoples. The population coalesced first into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962. A 1973 military coup saw a change of leadership, but pro-Hutu policy remained. The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi , both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994. Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily in wake of the 1994 genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, and visitors pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, particularly drums and the highly choreographed intore dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including imigongo, a unique cow dung art.

Water supply and sanitation in the Philippines

Water supply is the process of providing water in a systematic way through installed pumps and pipe lines. Before water is provided to a specific area, it undergoes a process called sanitation to ensure that the quality of water received is safe for human consumption. The Philippines’ water supply system dates back to 1946 after the country achieved its independence. Government agencies, local institutions, non-government organizations, and other corporations are primarily in charge in the operation and administration of water supply and sanitation in the country.

World Bank Group

The World Bank Group (WBG) (French: Groupe de la Banque mondiale) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and most well-known development bank in the world and is an observer at the United Nations Development Group. The bank is based in Washington, D.C. and provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to "developing" and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year. The bank's stated mission is to achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity. Total lending as of 2015 for the last 10 years through Development Policy Financing was approximately $117 billion. Its five organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The first two are sometimes collectively (and confusingly) referred to as the World Bank.

The World Bank's (the IBRD and IDA's) activities are focused on developing countries, in fields such as human development (e.g. education, health), agriculture and rural development (e.g. irrigation and rural services), environmental protection (e.g. pollution reduction, establishing and enforcing regulations), infrastructure (e.g. roads, urban regeneration, and electricity), large industrial construction projects, and governance (e.g. anti-corruption, legal institutions development). The IBRD and IDA provide loans at preferential rates to member countries, as well as grants to the poorest countries. Loans or grants for specific projects are often linked to wider policy changes in the sector or the country's economy as a whole. For example, a loan to improve coastal environmental management may be linked to development of new environmental institutions at national and local levels and the implementation of new regulations to limit pollution.The World Bank has received various criticisms over the years and was tarnished by a scandal with the bank's then President Paul Wolfowitz and his aide, Shaha Riza, in 2007.

World Bank high-income economy

A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita US$12,056 or more in 2017, calculated using the Atlas method. While the term "high-income" is often used interchangeably with "First World" and "developed country", the technical definitions of these terms differ. The term "first world" commonly refers to countries that aligned themselves with the U.S. and NATO during the Cold War. Several institutions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or International Monetary Fund (IMF), take factors other than high per capita income into account when classifying countries as "developed" or "advanced economies". According to the United Nations, for example, some high-income countries may also be developing countries. The GCC countries, for example, are classified as developing high-income countries. Thus, a high-income country may be classified as either developed or developing. Although the Holy See is a sovereign state, it is not classified by the World Bank under this definition.

World Bank office, Chennai

The World Bank, Chennai is the extension of the World Bank headquartered in Washington, DC. The World Bank Chennai office offers corporate financial, accounting, administrative and IT services for the Bank's offices in around 150 countries. The Chennai office handles several value-added operations of the bank that were earlier handled only in its Washington, DC office.

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