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World Bank Group

The WBG is headquartered in Washington D.C., is globally active and comprises the following institutions:

  • IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) also known as World Bank
  • IDA (International Development Association).
  • IFC (International Finance Corporation)
  • MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency)
  • ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes

World Bank (WB)

Established in 1944 and operational since 1946 the WB even today is the trend setter in development policy.

Prerequisite for membership in the WB is membership in the IMF. The IMF is assisting member governments with economic analyses and by providing foreign currency in certain budget and finance crises. The WB is providing commercial credits to governments in developing countries and in countries in transition to alleviate poverty and to promote economic and social development.


Established in 1960 IDA is providing governments of the very poor member countries (BNP/per person below 1.065.- US$) long term non commercial loans (soft loans) and grants (not to be paid back). IDA and WB are the same in their organization. The difference is only the condition of their financing. IDA financing is based on regular contributions of its richer member countries and on the transfer of profits of the WB and the IFC. WB is financing its operation through refinancing on the global finance markets backed by guarantees of its member countries.


Established in 1956 the IFC has the task to promote the economic growth in developing countries and in countries in transition by assisting the private sector. The IFC is achieving this through credits to and /or through equity participation in private enterprises and also through economic and technical advice.


Established in 1988 MIGA is securing foreign investment through guarantees. This is achieved by insuring the political risk for investors and banks. Furthermore MIGA is providing advisory services to member governments in developing countries and in countries in transition for attracting and holding foreign investments.

GEF (Global Environment Facility)

Established in 1991 the GEF is an administrative umbrella in charge of different funds. GEF is not an organization in its own rights and therefore not really a MDB. Since GEF is extremely close with the WB it is included here in the World Bank Group. GEF is aiding developing countries and countries in transition to fight environmental problems with global effects. The most important instrument for the GEF is the Global Environment Trust Fund – (GET) which is financed by member countries donations and administered by the World Bank.