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In the News

World Bank chief calls for hike in funding to help developing world

Graham Watson

31st March 2023

The outgoing head of the World Bank, David Malpass, has marked his departure by calling for a substantial increase in funding to help developing economies deal with the conjunction of war, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

It's very much a state of the nation address with an acceptance that recent events are going to place significant stress on the most vulnerable, with their debt servicing requirement likely to have significantly increased and the prospect of further debt crises emerging.

You can read the relevant article here

Background

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It provides low- or no-interest loans to developing countries for capital programs, policy reform, and research. The World Bank also provides grants and technical assistance.

The World Bank was founded in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference. The original goal of the World Bank was to help rebuild Europe after World War II. However, the World Bank has since expanded its mission to include all developing countries.

The World Bank is a member of the World Bank Group, which also includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The World Bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It has over 10,000 employees in over 120 offices worldwide.

The World Bank's lending portfolio is over $1.8 trillion. The World Bank has lent over $1 trillion to developing countries since 1944.

The World Bank's lending is focused on three main areas:

  • Economic growth: The World Bank provides loans to developing countries to support economic growth. This includes loans for infrastructure, education, and health.
  • Poverty reduction: The World Bank provides loans to developing countries to reduce poverty. This includes loans for social safety nets, microfinance, and rural development.
  • Environmental sustainability: The World Bank provides loans to developing countries to support environmental sustainability. This includes loans for climate change adaptation, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.

The World Bank's lending is subject to a number of conditions, including:

  • Economic reforms: The World Bank requires developing countries to implement economic reforms in order to receive loans. This includes reforms to the financial sector, the labor market, and the public sector.
  • Environmental safeguards: The World Bank requires developing countries to implement environmental safeguards in order to receive loans. This includes safeguards to protect forests, water resources, and biodiversity.
  • Social safeguards: The World Bank requires developing countries to implement social safeguards in order to receive loans. This includes safeguards to protect workers' rights, indigenous peoples' rights, and gender equality.

The World Bank's lending has been controversial. Some critics argue that the World Bank's loans have led to increased debt in developing countries. Others argue that the World Bank's loans have not been effective in reducing poverty.

Despite the criticism, the World Bank remains a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries. The World Bank has played a significant role in supporting economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability in developing countries.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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