International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (IBRD), independent specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Washington, D.C.; one of five closely associated development institutions (also including the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, International Finance Corporation (see below), International Development Association (see below), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) that constitute the World Bank Group. Plans were laid at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944) for the formation of a world bank; the IBRD was formally organized as the original institution of the World Bank in 1945, when 28 countries ratified the agreement; there are now 189 members. The IBRD aims at reducing poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytical and advisory services. The bank not only makes loans to member nations, but, under government guarantee, to private investors, for the purpose of facilitating productive investment, encouraging foreign trade, and discharging burdens of international debt. All members of the bank must also belong to the International Monetary Fund. The bank is self-sustaining and has maintained a profit on its lending activities. It is controlled by a board of governors, one from each member state. Votes are allocated according to capital subscription. Ordinary affairs are conducted by 25 executive directors. Under the bank's articles of agreement, five are appointed by the five largest capital subscribers, and the rest elected by the remaining members. However, the United States, Japan, China, Germany, France, and Great Britain (the last two having equal capital subscriptions) each currently appoint an executive director. Among the IBRD's many vice presidents, regional vice presidents oversee the bank's operations in six regions: Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The bank also operates the Economic Development Institute, which offers training in economic development for officials of member countries. Another development institution is the International Finance Corporation (IFC; est. 1956), which invests in private enterprises without government guarantee. The IFC has 184 member nations. The bank organized the International Development Association (IDA; 1960) to extend credit on easier terms, mainly to developing countries. The IDA has 173 member nations. Members of the IFC and IDA must be members of the IBRD. Criticism that the IBRD-financed projects were environmentally destructive led the bank to establish an environmental fund (1990) providing low-interest loans for developing countries; the IBRD continues to be criticized to failing to adequately address human rights in its development work. Developing nations have complained that the IBRD imposes the free-market system on them, thereby discouraging planning, nationalization, and public investment.


See E. S. Mason and R. E. Asher, The World Bank since Bretton Woods (1973); C. Payer, The World Bank: A Critical Analysis (1982); S. Please, The Hobbled Giant: Essays on the World Bank (1984); E. Conway, The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944 (2015).

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References in periodicals archive ?
This increased IBRD's loan portfolio to $193 billion, 5% above a year ago.
We view the IBRD's liquidity profile as excellent, as evidenced by its coverage of short-term debt service by liquid assets of 1.8x in 2017.
Technical assistance to UTY for Supporting Railway Construction (estimated cost US$0.5 million, 100% IBRD financing)
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The IBRD is very strong in terms of Moody's capital adequacy measures.
The IBRD, which was established in 1944, aims to reduce poverty in
The agreements were signed by IBRD's Acting Country Director for Maghreb Countries FranE*oise Clottes, and head of ONEP Ali Fassi Fihri, a statement by the state-owned facility said.
Summary: Rabat - Morocco's drinking water facility (ONEP) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) signed, on Thursday in Rabat, two loan agreements of up to 1.83 billion dirhams (over $211mln).
8 -- The World Bank (WB) has said that the economic recovery now underway has opened up the prospect for resumption of IBRD lending (resumption of policy loans) to Pakistan and the CPS envisages IBRD lending of up to $2 billion over the CPS period.
Currently Sri Lanka is drawing funds only from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank and receives additional funding required for the major infrastructure development from the IBRD financing.
In the speeches by the heads of the IBRD and IMF, by the heads of key national delegations (the number such speeches should be reduced), and by the head of the host government these few subjects should be emphasized; they should be the heard of the matter.
Since the dismantling of the Iron Curtain, the Bretton Woods institutions,(9) collectively the IBRD and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), like other organs of the United Nations system, have realized enhanced freedom of action, no longer encumbered by the bipolar geopolitical framework of the Cold War.(10) That increased freedom has enabled international financial institutions, led by the World Bank, to promote the principles of liberal democracy and free-market economics more vigorously than was previously possible.(11) Cognizant of this change in geopolitical climate, many scholars and international organizations have called upon the World Bank to take a more proactive role in the human rights arena.(12)