The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Established in 1960, IDA aims to reduce poverty by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions.
IDA complements the World Bank’s original lending arm—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). IBRD was established to function as a self-sustaining business and provides loans and advice to middle-income and credit-worthy poor countries. IBRD and IDA share the same staff and headquarters and evaluate projects with the same rigorous standards.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. It is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in these countries. IDA-financed operations deliver positive change for 2.5 billion people, the majority of whom survive on less than $2 a day.
IDA brochure (pdf):