International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The world’s largest development bank, IBRD provides financial products and policy advice to help countries reduce poverty and extend the benefits of sustainable growth to all of their people.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, it supports the World Bank Group’s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, as well as by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. 

Created in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II, IBRD joins with IDA, our fund for the poorest countries, to form the World Bank.  They work closely with all institutions of the World Bank Group and the public and private sectors in developing countries to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity.

IBRD at Work

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Improvements in Maternal and Child Healthcare in Panama

In rural areas of Panama, a partnership with the World Bank provided 180,000 people a year with regular access to basic health services.

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A Little Cash Goes a Long Way for Macedonian Students

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the World Bank helped more than 16,500 low-income students further their education, providing cash in exchange for regular school attendance.

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Papua New Guinea: Giving Urban Youth a Second Chance

For unemployed youth in Papua New Guinea, the World Bank and donor partners are helping build the skills and experience needed for long-term employment.

A Partner to Middle-Income Countries

The World Bank Group engages with middle-income countries (MICs) both as clients and shareholders. These countries are major drivers of global growth, home to major infrastructure investments, and recipients of a large share of exports from advanced economies and poorer countries. Many are making rapid economic and social progress, and they play an ever larger role in finding solutions to global challenges.  

But MICs also have more than 70% of the world’s poor people, often in remote areas. And limited access to private finance makes these countries vulnerable to economic shocks and the crises that cross borders, including climate change, forced migration, and pandemics. The World Bank is an essential partner to MICs, which represent more than 60% of IBRD’s portfolio. 

  • We provide a combination of financial resources, knowledge, and technical services. 
  • Our strategic advice helps governments reform to improve services, encourage more private investment, and innovate and share solutions.  
  • We partner with countries as challenges emerge and evolve, through innovative financial products and a wide range of global forums. 

Above all, we help ensure that progress in reducing poverty and broadening prosperity can be sustained. We place special emphasis on supporting lower-middle-income countries as they move up the economic chain, graduating from IDA to become clients of IBRD. We are also expanding capacity to help countries dealing with fragility and conflict situations. And as a long-term partner, we step up our support to all MICs in times of crisis.

IBRD’s Services

Through our partnership with MICs and creditworthy poorer countries, IBRD offers innovative financial solutions, including financial products (loans, guarantees, and risk management products) and knowledge and advisory services (including on a reimbursable basis) to governments at the national and subnational levels.

IBRD finances investments across all sectors and provides technical support and expertise at each stage of a project.  IBRD’s resources not only supply borrowing countries with needed financing, but also serve as a vehicle for global knowledge transfer and technical assistance.  

Advisory services in public debt and asset management help governments, official sector institutions, and development organizations build institutional capacity to protect and expand financial resources.

IBRD supports government efforts to strengthen public financial management as well as improve the investment climate, address service delivery bottlenecks, and strengthen policies and institutions.

 

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Country Strategies

The Country Partnership Framework guides how IBRD and other World Bank Group institutions work with a client country to reach the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

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Products & Services

IBRD lending and advice complement other World Bank Group efforts to help governments reduce poverty and spur sustainable growth. In addition to middle-income countries, IBRD lends to creditworthy poorer countries that are also eligible for IDA support.

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Financing & Risk Management

IBRD and other World Bank Group institutions are innovating to offer a wide range of insurance, credit enhancement, and hedging products to help client countries manage financial risks as they tackle development challenges.

 

How IBRD Is Financed

IBRD raises most of its funds in the world's financial markets. This has allowed it to provide more than $500 billion in loans to alleviate poverty around the world since 1946, with its shareholder governments paying in about $14 billion in capital.

IBRD has maintained a triple-A rating since 1959. This high credit rating allows it to borrow at low cost and offer middle-income developing countries access to capital on favorable terms — helping ensure that development projects go forward in a more sustainable manner, while often complementing or catalyzing private financing.

IBRD earns income every year from the return on its equity and from the small margin it makes on lending. This pays for World Bank operating expenses, goes into reserves to strengthen the balance sheet, and provides an annual transfer of funds to IDA, the fund for the poorest countries.