What Is the World Bank Group?

The World Bank Group is the world's most prominent development bank, with a stated mandate and mission to reduce world poverty. It has 189 member countries and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The CEO of the World Bank Group as of June 2021 is David Malpass.

Key Takeaways

  • The World Bank Group is the world's most prominent development bank, with a stated mandate and mission to reduce world poverty.
  • As part of the Bretton Woods agreement, The World Bank Group was created on December 27, 1945.  
  • Five organizations comprise The World Bank Group: 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 World Bank Group provides advice and financial assistance in the form of discounted loans and grants to countries struggling with poverty, with a focus on areas such as health, education, and agriculture. 
  • The World Bank Group has 189 member states, with the U.S. as the bank's largest shareholder.


Understanding the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group provides advice and financial assistance in the form of discounted loans and grants to countries struggling with poverty, with a focus on areas such as health, education, and agriculture. It was created on December 27, 1945, as part of the Bretton Woods agreement and consists of five organizations:

• The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
• The International Development Association (IDA)
• The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
• The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
• The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The first two institutions, the IBRD and the IDA, comprise the World Bank, a subgroup within the World Bank Group.

The World Bank Group has 189 member states, with the U.S. as the bank's largest shareholder. The U.S. president nominates the bank's president, all of whom have so far been U.S. citizens. The bank's headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

According to the World Bank Group's website, it has two goals it aims to accomplish by 2030: to end extreme poverty, defined as reducing the share of the world population living on less than $1.90 per day to 3%, and to increase the incomes of the lowest-earning 40% of every country.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion in funds to over 100 countries "to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in our history."