About

History

Since inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions. Our mission evolved from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as facilitator of post-war reconstruction and development to the present-day mandate of worldwide poverty alleviation in close coordination with our affiliate, the International Development Association, and other members of the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Once, we had a homogeneous staff of engineers and financial analysts, based solely in Washington, D.C. Today, we have a multidisciplinary and diverse staff that includes economists, public policy experts, sector experts and social scientists—and now more than a third of our staff is based in country offices.

Reconstruction remains an important part of our work. However, at today's World Bank, poverty reduction through an inclusive and sustainable globalization remains the overarching goal of our work.

For more on the World Bank's history, visit the Archives.

View an interactive timeline of the World Bank's impact on international development
Contacts
Headquarters

1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA (202) 473-1000