Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World Bank is leading the charge

World Bank is leading the charge

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Nusa Dua, on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, on October 12. SONNY TUMBELAKA/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

World Bank is leading the charge

THE World Bank, whose new president is due to be appointed by mid-April, is a global financial organisation whose mission is to end extreme poverty by supporting development projects.

Like its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was created in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference held in the aftermath of the war.

Since then, it has financed more than 12,000 development projects through loans and grants, and also provides technical assistance, with a heavy focus on infrastructure, like roads, dams and electrical grids.

The lender has 189 member countries, with more than 10,000 employees and 130 branches around the world.

It has grown from a single institution into a group of five entities, the largest of which are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which lends to middle- and low-income countries, and the International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest countries.

For fiscal year 2018, IBRD had total outstanding loans of $183.58 billion.

The biggest borrowers last year were India ($3.45 billion), Egypt ($2.18 billion), Indonesia ($1.8 billion), China ($1.78 billion) and Turkey ($1.4 billion).

The largest IDA customers were Ethiopia ($3.12 billion), Bangladesh ($2.99 billion) and Nigeria ($2.59 billion), followed by Pakistan ($1.95 billion) and Kenya ($1.28 billion).

The World Bank Group also includes three units that work in private sector finance:

- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), offers financing for private firms in developing countries.

- The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), as its name implies, offers investors guarantees against losses associated with non-commercial risks in developing countries.

- The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which provides international tribunal mechanisms to arbitrate investment disputes.

‘Not in the ordinary sense’

The World Bank says it is “not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development”.

It is governed by a board made up of representatives of its 189 member countries. The US has by far the largest share of the votes but does not hold a majority.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has criticised the World Bank for lending to higher-income countries, especially China, which it says should have “graduated” because, as the second largest economy in the world, it can afford to borrow from financial markets.

Shareholders in April last year approved a “historic increase” in capital across World Bank units allowing it to increase lending, after the institution agreed to a US demand to reduce lending and increase interest rates for countries like China.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They