Bretton Woods Project - Critical voices on the World Bank and IMF

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IBRD—International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Established in 1944 and more commonly known as the World Bank, the IBRD provides loans and development assistance to middle and low-income countries with a stated aim of reducing poverty. Loans generally have a five-year grace period and must be repaid over a period of 15-20 years. In 2008 the IBRD commited a total of $ 13.5 billion in loans, in contrast to $13.6 billon in 2005, destined for a large range of projects. The Bank obtains some of its funds through the sale of bonds in international capital markets while most of its income comes from lending out its own capital. This capital consists of reserves built up over the years as well as money paid in by its 185 member countries. While not a profit maximizing organisation, the IBRD has earned net income every year since 1948.

Published: Saturday 27th May 2006, last edited: Thursday 15th January 2009

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You are now browsing an archive version of the Bretton Woods Project's website. This site has not been updated since September 2013, but may be used for reference material as the nbew site is being developed. However we suggest you look at the new website:

Recent briefings & reports

Memorandum to the International Development Committee: Inquiry on the Future of UK Development Cooperation  26 June 2013

The Doing Business review: a test of World Bank leadership 24 June 2013

Climate Investment Funds Monitor 7: April 2013  25 April 2013

Working paper: The private sector and climate change adaptation: International Finance Corporation investments under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience  24 April 2013

The UK's role in the World Bank and IMF: Department for International Development and HM Treasury  13 March 2013

World Bank on jobs: a "significant departure" or "business as usual"? 13 February 2013

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