Lifting People Out of Poverty

The International Development Association, IDA, is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. One of the world’s largest sources of aid, IDA provides support for health and education, infrastructure and agriculture, and economic and institutional development to the 771 least developed countries—39 of them in Africa. These countries are home to 2.8 billion people, 1.8 billion of whom survive on $2 a day or less.

  • IDA is critical to making progress toward the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda. In fiscal year 2014 (which ended June 30, 2014), IDA commitments totaled $22.2 billion for health, education, agriculture programs, as well as to build transport, energy, water and Information Communications Technology infrastructure.
  • IDA is an investment in promoting growth, creating jobs and new opportunities in developing countries.
  • About 14 percent of IDA funding is provided as grants; the rest is in the form of low- to zero-interest long-term loans (called credits).
  • IDA is replenished every three years by both developed and developing country donors. Two other World Bank agencies—the IBRD and IFC—make contributions to IDA.
  • Despite tough economic times, in December 2013, a global coalition of 46 developed and developing countries pledged to accelerate the fight to end extreme poverty by committing a record $52 billion in financing over the next three years.
  • IDA is an effective way to leverage additional resources from donors, recipient governments, the private sector, and the World Bank Group, helping to scale up results and impact, as well as reducing aid fragmentation.

What makes IDA unique?

Today, IDA is recognized as a global institution that serves as a platform for effective delivery of aid. IDA:

  • Focuses on results, improving its rigorous results measurement system, in place since 2002.
  • Is recognized as a global leader in transparency and has scored highly in independent evaluations of international aid organizations.
  • In 2014, IDA placed in the highest category in the 2014 Aid Transparency Index for the first time—ranking 4th out of 17 multilateral organizations. IDA is among only six organizations that scored more than 80 percent for project-level information.
  • IDA is overseen by its 173 shareholder countries, ensuring a focus on results and creating opportunities for transfer of knowledge.
  • Supports country-led development with predictable and unearmarked funds that developing countries can apply where they are most needed.
  • Provides a vital platform to help countries coordinate and target their scarce bilateral and multilateral aid resources across multiple sectors.
  • Has staff on the ground in nearly all IDA countries, ensuring that technical and implementation support is targeted, timely and well monitored.
  • Has low overheads and is self-financed by a small service charge to clients.

IDA delivers

  • From 2003-2013, IDA provided more than 117 million people with access to a basic package of health, nutrition or population services; immunized nearly 600 million children; and provided prenatal care for more than 195 million pregnant women.
  • From 2002-2012, IDA financing helped 123 million people gain access to an improved water source and trained more than 3.5 million teachers.
  • From 2000-2010, IDA provided more than 105 million children with new or rehabilitated classrooms. IDA financing has supported one of the largest schooling expansions in history, including greatly improved girls’ enrollment.
  • The new round of financing is expected to provide, among other things, electricity for an estimated 15-20 million people, life-saving vaccines for 200 million children, microfinance loans for more than 1 million women, and basic health services for 65 million people. Some 32 million people will benefit from access to clean water and another 5.6 million from better sanitation facilities.

1 India graduated from IDA at the end of FY14 but will receive transitional support on an exceptional basis through the IDA17 period (FY15-17)

IDA Articles of Agreement

IDA's Articles of Agreement became effective in 1960.

Read More (pdf) »

The ABCs of IDA


Key Achievements of IDA by Country.

Read More »

Infographic: What is IDA?

Infographic: What is IDA? See More »


See More »