The Role of the World Bank

Established in 1944 to finance reconstruction work in the aftermath of the Second World War, the World Bank is made up of 5 different institutions.  It has a membership of 189 countries, employs staff in 170 countries and has offices in 130 different locations worldwide.

The objective of the World Bank is the reduction of world poverty, and so it works in every developing country.  It uses three main ways to achieve this goal. The first is to develop a sustainable economy by offering a wide range of projects and products to help these countries with technical and financial assistance and support.  

The second way they advance their cause is to invest in people.  The World Bank’s Human Capital Project encourages investment in better nutrition, healthcare, education, job opportunities and professional skills.

Their third and final way to reduce poverty is to ensure an economy and social structure which is resilient to shocks and both internal and external threats.  In this way, years of progress aren’t rolled back by the unexpected.

Since 1947, the World Bank has been involved in 12,000 projects offering financial assistance in the form of grants, loans and interest-free credits.  In the same way, unsecured personal loans are available from an online lender.  These personal loans are fast and convenient with a streamlined application procedure.  

In its review of 2018, the World Bank analysed what kind of challenges developing countriesfaced in the previous year, and which they still continue to face.

Although those living in extreme poverty (i.e. living on less than $1.90 a day) fell from a third of the world’s population in 1990 to 10% in 2015, it remains a cause for concern in some areas.  27 of the world’s 28 poorest countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa while conflicts continue to lead to the forced displacement of entire communities or ethnic/religious groups. As 85% of these 68.5 million displaced people are welcomed by developing countries, this puts an additional strain on a system which is already under pressure.

Climate change is another issue that the World Bank is concerned about.  It has been estimated that further rises in temperatures (with all its resulting changes to the environment such as rising sea levels) will push a further 100 million people into extreme poverty.  For this reason, the organisation has doubled its investments in climate-related projects and technology to $200 billion. One of the major contributions to climate change is the inefficient disposal of waste, and they aim to do something about this.  At present, a third of waste worldwide is still dumped in landfills or burnt.

Across the globe, 2.7 billion women face restricted choices legally because of their gender.  This has a direct impact on their personal and financial circumstances and the availability of a skilled workforce(and by extension the economy).  To help close this gender gap, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative has been funded with £1.6 billion to fund and advise women business owners.  

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