Ending Poverty through IDA

For more than 50 years, the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, has taken on the most difficult and complex challenges. One of the largest sources of development finance, IDA provides support for health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, economic, and institutional development to the world’s poorest countries—half of which are in Africa. These countries are home to 2.8 billion people, 1.8 billion of whom survive
on $2 a day or less.

The world looks to IDA to address big problems—from relief for highly indebted countries, to reconstruction in Haiti and Afghanistan, to the recent global food and economic crises. No other international institution has the mandate, cross-sector knowledge, and resources to respond to complex global challenges with an exclusive focus on the world’s
poorest countries.

And IDA is innovative. We are helping countries leapfrog traditional energy sources by harnessing the sun to light
homes and power businesses, and to deal with the effects of a changing environment while building climate-smart
resilience for the long term. We are working to find new triggers to integrate women and other vulnerable citizens into
society as equals. And we are there for the long haul, helping put countries on a path to stability and growth after
conflict and other disasters.

With IDA’s help, hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty—through the creation of jobs, access to clean water, schools, roads, nutrition, electricity, and more. During the past decade, IDA funding immunized nearly half a billion children, provided access to better water sources for 123 million people, and helped 65 million people receive health services. During the food crisis, we helped get seeds and fertilizers to 8.5 million farm households, cash or food-for-work programs to 1.7 million people, and meals to 923,000 school children.

IDA is replenished every three years with contributions from developed and developing country donors, as well as from two other agencies of the World Bank Group: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation.

And IDA works. With help from IDA, 301 countries have “graduated.” Their economic development means they are no longer reliant on IDA support, and many have gone on to become IDA donors. Helping countries build the institutions and capacities to help themselves and putting them on a path to fund their own development is a priority for IDA.

Learn more about what IDA has achieved in the results highlighted on the following pages, and be sure to see our other “ABCs” of IDA on Africa, gender, conflict and fragility, climate change, and institutional strengthening.


  • 2.7 million girls were enrolled in school in 2012, up from 191,000 in 2002; nearly 140,000 teachers have been trained, of which 39,000 are women.
  • 22 million people in rural areas benefited from improved infrastructure—such as access to water, electricity, and roads—between 2003 and 2010.
  • 18 million people had access to a phone in 2012, up from just 57,000 functioning phone lines in 2002.


  • 2.3 million people gained access to basic social and economic services between 2004 and 2009 with newly built or rehabilitated infrastructure in 18 provinces.
  • 105,000 former soldiers were demobilized and reintegrated into civilian life between 2003 and 2008; more than 260 subprojects were implemented with community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations.


  • 76 percent of the poorest households received cash transfers in 2010, up from 67 percent in 2008.
  • 1.3 million residents of Yerevan have seen their water supply increase to about 18.5 hours a day from about 7 hours a day—with more than 70 percent now having 24-hour service.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 1.2 million people in 431 communities benefited from approximately 1,300 kilometers of roads built or reconstructed between 2005 and 2012.
  • Pensions are now paid in full and on time, compared with a rate of 50 percent in 2003; as of 2011, more than 9 percent of all households received targeted social assistance; 1.9 million people contributed to the social security system as of 2011, a 40 percent increase over 2003.


  • 60 percent of government contracts awarded in 2012 were published on the Central Procurement Technical Unit website, up from only 15 percent in 2007.
  • More than 6 million girls attend secondary schools today, a six-fold increase from just 1.1 million in 1991.


  • 750,000 people benefited from community-driven projects between 2005 and 2012; 160,000 additional students enrolled in school; and 25,000 people gained access to clean water.
  • 64 percent of children slept under bed nets in 2010, up from 20 percent in 2006, and the number of pregnant women sleeping under bed nets improved from 20 percent to 60 percent during the same period.


  • 12,000 rural residents with the greatest need for better access were provided with new upgraded feeder roads between 2007 and 2012.
  • 55,000 people in urban areas have received improved infrastructure services—including a better water supply, roads, and other civil works—over the past 20 years.
  • 90 percent of children completed school in 2009, compared with 76 percent in 2006.


  • 35,000 residents of Santa Cruz received access to a modern sanitation network for the first time during 2006–12.
  • 18,000 people in 22 neighborhoods in La Paz benefited from improved infrastructure and basic services; and work is now under way in 24 additional neighborhoods.
  • 2.8 million hectares of land were surveyed and titled between 1995 and 2005.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 100 percent of people living in 20 municipalities had 24-hour access to a water supply in 2011, compared with 75 percent in 2004.

Burkina Faso

  • Child mortality decreased to 104 deaths per 1,000 children in 2009—half the rate of 1999.
  • Access to lower secondary education improved from 20 percent in 2005 to almost 35 percent in 2012.
  • 100 percent of children have had access to free vaccinations since 2002, and all women became eligible for free prenatal care in 2003.


  • 25 percent more women gave birth at health facilities in 2011 than in 2010; prenatal consultations rose by 20 percent during the same period.
  • 48 percent of students completed primary school in 2010, up from 38 percent four years earlier.


  • Students in more than 1,000 schools improved literacy test scores, and there were lower drop-out rates and higher promotion rates between 1999 and 2004.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 203,000 people received basic health, nutrition, or reproductive health services during 2009–12.
  • 7.2 million urban dwellers had access to better water sources in 2012, up from 6.9 million in 2010; 50,000 people received access to all-season roads during the same period.

Cape Verde

  • Foreign direct investment grew to $1.16 billion in 2008, up from $38.7 million in 2003; the investments created more than 4,000 new jobs.
  • By 2009, more than 7 million transactions—totaling $68 million—had taken place through a newly introduced electronic credit system.

Central African Republic

  • 119,000 people were tested for HIV during 2000–12, including more than 10,000 pregnant women, 2,000 teachers, and nearly 7,000 military personnel and their families.
  • 100,000 insecticide-treated nets were distributed to pregnant women and children under age five to prevent malaria.


  • 2.6 million books were distributed to schools, 400 classrooms were built and equipped, 20,000 people were taught to read and write, and 11,700 community teachers were trained between 2003 and 2012.


  • More than 24,000 people suffering from the impact of the global crises and the local floods of 2012 benefited from cash-for-work and community-based infrastructure projects.
  • 71 cash-for-work subprojects have been completed since 2010, creating 95,000 work-days and directly benefiting close to 4,000 individuals (57 percent of whom are women).

Congo, Republic of

  • 77 percent of pregnant women receiving prenatal care took voluntary HIV tests in 2011, up from just 16 percent in 2003.
  • In 2011, there were 19 testing sites for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, compared with none in 2003.
  • 85 percent of children completed primary school as of end-2012, up from just 50 percent in 2004.

Côte d’Ivoire

  • 18,000 ex-combatants, other armed individuals, and youth at risk were reintegrated into society during 2008–12.
  • 44 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women were receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2012 to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission, up from 0 in 2007.

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • 140,000 ex-combatants were demobilized, and 118,000 weapons had been collected by 2011.
  • More than 30,000 children were demobilized and reunited with their parents as of September 2011.


  • 56,667 students were enrolled in primary school in 2007, compared with 48,713 in 2004.
  • Under-five child mortality was reduced by half between 2002 and 2012, dropping to 68 deaths per 1,000 children from 124.


  • 1,325 tons were loaded/unloaded per ship per day in 2009 in Port Massawa, up from 850 in 1996. Congestion has been reduced, and the port now meets international environmental management standards.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 60 percent of roads were classified as in good or fair condition in 2010, compared with 22 percent in 1997.

Gambia, The

  • 1,420 community-driven projects—including in agriculture, roads, water, and health projects—were implemented in 600 rural villages and wards between 2007 and 2012; 99 percent of beneficiaries were satisfied with the results.
  • 92 percent of children were enrolled in school in 2009, up from 65 percent in 2000.
  • 46 government sites now have infrastructure supporting financial management information systems, up from just 6 in 2010; and for the first time, 12 budget reports are being published each year.


  • 30,000 households have been connected to piped water, and 90,000 more people have access to improved water supply since 2008; the country is on track to achieve the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
  • 440,000 poor and vulnerable people received targeted social assistance in 2011, compared with 370,000 in 2008, helping to cushion the impact of dual crises.


  • More than 300,000 jobs were created between 1999 and 2009 through integrated investment and trade promotion.
  • Under-five mortality rates fell to 80 per 1,000 live births in 2008 from 111 in 2003, due to improved provision of maternal and child health care; immunization coverage improved to 79 percent in 2008 from 69 percent in 2003.
  • 80 percent of the population had access to a telephone by July 2011, up from 60 percent in 2010 and less than 3 percent in 2003.


  • 75 percent of children 12–23 months old were fully immunized in 2012, up from 39 percent in 2011.
  • 95 percent of pregnant women in 2012 received prenatal care from a health care provider, up from 83 percent in 2011.
  • 100 percent of hospitals and health centers are supervised at least twice a year, up from 60 percent in 2011.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • More than 200 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated during 2011.


  • 39,465 people in rural communities have benefited from six new water supply systems since 2011.
  • 1.3 million people, represented by 76 civil protection committees, have strengthened their disaster preparedness and response capacity.


  • 95 municipal disaster emergency committees and 375 local emergency committees were formed to reduce vulnerability to disasters as of 2010. More than 500,000 people in 58 municipalities are benefiting from structural mitigation measures.
  • 1.9 million people gained access to the judicial branch between 2005 and 2011 because of a range of improvements— from training judicial and administrative staff to modernizing financial systems and refurbishing facilities; the resolution time for non-criminal cases dropped to 612 days in 2011 from 1,251 days in 2005.


  • 850,000 poor women in the state of Bihar have been mobilized into 67,000 self-help groups and 4,500 village organizations since 2007. More than 90 percent of the women belong to vulnerable groups such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and backward castes. The groups saved more than $8 million and accessed $32 million in credit.
  • About 24 million people in over 15,000 villages have benefited from a rural water supply and sanitation over the past two decades.
  • More than 15 million people with tuberculosis were diagnosed and treated during 1998–2012, saving an estimated 2.6 million lives.


  • The disparity between budget allocation and actual spending decreased from about 11 percent in 2005 to 2.4 percent in 2011.
  • 1,450 new jobs were created in micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (SMEs); $17 million in loans were extended to SMEs with a loan-loss rate below 7.5 percent during 2004–12.
  • More than 245,000—or approximately 40 percent—of all orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty were being supported by a safety net program as of 2011.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • A basic ICT policy strengthened the legal, regulatory, and institutional environment, enabling the transition to a market-driven telecommunications sector and facilitating improved connectivity for the Outer Islands.
  • The country has experienced a 14 percent increase in access to mobile telephones and the Internet.


  • There were 75 percent more new business registrations in the first nine months of 2012 than in 2008 and 2009.
  • 45 percent of social assistance beneficiaries participated in public works employment programs in 2012, up from less than 10 percent in 2010.
  • 3,500 temporary jobs were created through a public works program in 2012.

Kyrgyz Republic

  • Kyrgyz Republic has achieved compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI); 46 and 57 companies reported under EITI in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

  • 93,000 women received subsidies for prenatal care and hospital delivery, and 536,000 women received free or subsidized health exams between 1997 and 2006.
  • 650,000 people from the poorest rural and remote communities had better access to roads, primary education, clean water, and health care in 2011 than in 2003.
  • Between 1995 and September 2010, electricity access across the country increased to 71 percent from 16 percent, reaching 730,000 households.


  • A fourfold increase in the number of audits, from 4 in 2009 to 16 in 2011, including for the major spending ministries, occurred as part of the public sector reform process; an additional 10 special—including forensic—audits were also completed.
  • A 19 percent variance between approved and actual budgets in 2007 was cut almost in half (to less than 10 percent) in 2010.
  • 236 financial institution branches were established in rural areas in 2010, offering credit and savings services to 391,000 low-income members at an affordable cost, compared with 59 branches in 1999.


  • 3 million students attending public schools benefited in 2010 from much needed learning and teaching materials.
  • It took 49 days to register a business in 2011, compared with 88 days in 2010.


  • The gross enrollment ratio for primary education stood at 98 percent as of 2009, up from 88.7 percent in 2002; 69.4 percent of students completed primary school in 2009, up from 46.9 percent in 2003.
  • There was 50.3 percent gender parity among students in 2009, up from 43.3 percent in 2002.


  • About 932,000 people (more than one-quarter of the country’s population) were empowered through a social investment fund, from 1998 to 2011, to manage their own development needs.
  • 39 primary health care centers in rural Moldova were renovated between 2007 and 2011.
  • 40,000 poor households have received means-tested targeted social assistance since 2011.


  • The lives of more than half a million herders have been transformed by affordable, portable solar home systems that generate enough power for lights, televisions, radios, mobile phone charging, and small appliances.


  • 105,000 students were enrolled in higher education in 2011, compared with 9,800 in 2000.
  • 82 districts across the country were implementing projects identified by communities as of 2010.
  • Maputo’s city council revenues rose from $3.5 million in 2006 to $9.8 million in 2010 with the introduction of reforms to boost efficiency in municipal financing.
  • 650 tons of urban solid waste were collected per day in 2011, up from 253 tons per day in 2006; solid waste collection rose from serving 100,000 people to serving 1 million people over 5 years.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • In 2013, IDA support helped clear Myanmar’s arrears as it reengages with the World Bank Group.


  • There was a 50 percent reduction in the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day from 2003 to 2011.
  • Infant mortality declined from 110 deaths per 1,000 live births to 46 deaths per 1,000 live births between 1990 and 2011.


  • 460,000 people received access to all-weather roads from 2008 to 2012. Some 40 micro enterprises maintained more than 2,400 kilometers of paved roads annually between 2007 and 2012. More than 340 kilometers of rural roads have been paved by hand. The road works have generated more than 65,000 jobs.
  • 1.2 million textbooks were distributed to all primary grades and in indigenous languages during 2010–11.
  • 7,900 solar home systems were installed from 2004 to 2008. 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions were abated and 1,200 microcredits issued for household connections, photovoltaic systems, and mini-grids between 2003 and 2011.


  • Prevalence of HIV/AIDS was 0.8 percent as of 2011, one of the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • With IDA support, Niger became Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliant in 2011 and adopted provisions under its new constitution to ensure transparency in the use of mineral resources.
  • 541,000 people in urban areas gained access to piped water between 2001 and 2010; the rate of access to rural services was 78 percent in 2009, up from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 41 percent of girls and 52 percent of boys in Kaduna completed primary school in 2011, up from 17.4 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively, in 2007; the completion rate for girls in Kano was 55 percent and for boys 70.9 percent, up from 49 percent and 57 percent, respectively; and the completion rate for girls in Kwara was 50 percent and for boys 57 percent, up from 45 percent and 50 percent, respectively, during the same period.
  • 6,456 teachers were trained between 2007 and 2011.
  • 5,000 Fadama community associations are designing and implementing local development plans as of 2013— 2,400 fully implemented since 2009, 1,300 ongoing, and thousands more under preparation by communities— that incorporate the viewpoints of all stakeholders, with a women’s participation rate of 40 percent; there have been real improvements in incomes.


  • In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 51 percent of students now pass at least five subjects at the Caribbean Examinations Council, compared with 37 percent in 2004.
  • An automated customs data system helped to reduce commercial cargo inspections in Grenada from 60 percent to 18 percent between 2009 and 2012.


  • 4.7 million families receive income support in the form of monthly cash benefits under the Benazir Income Support Program, as of 2013.
  • 385,000 girls in grades 6–8 received stipends, and all students received free textbooks during 2011–12.

Papua New Guinea

  • 1,300 kilometers of national roads were maintained and restored, and 49 bridges were rehabilitated or replaced in eight of the country’s 20 provinces between 2002 and 2011.
  • 300 youths from the capital area have been placed in jobs through a recently launched project to create temporary employment for young people, as of March 2013.


  • 3,300 hectares of marshland were newly developed or rehabilitated for irrigation, and more than 10,000 hectares of hillside were developed and protected against soil erosion between 2008 and 2012.
  • 26,585 members of the Rwanda Defense Forces were demobilized as of September 2011.
  • 24 government institutions were connected to the Internet and adopted e-government applications with demonstrated improvement in efficiency by 2010; target populations expressed an 81 percent satisfaction rate with e-government services.


  • 165,500 people became new mobile phone subscribers between 2002 and 2010 with the expansion of the network into rural areas.
  • Seawalls and road access have been restored in communities affected by the 2009 tsunami, as of March 2013.
  • Five rural health facilities and the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital were refurbished between 2000 and 2006, resulting in fewer postoperative infections and improved surgical outcomes.


  • 94 percent of children were enrolled in primary school in 2012, compared with 81 percent in 2005, and 67 percent of them completed primary school, compared with 48.7 percent in 2005; there was a 52 percent increase in university enrollment.
  • 1.4 million people in the capital and other urban centers gained access to clean water as a result of a 2001–09 water sector project; 144,000 more people now have a sewerage connection.

IDA Results on the Ground

Sierra Leone

  • 50 health posts in the four districts were fully equipped, and more than 60 percent of the population had access, within one mile, to a primary health unit in targeted districts as of 2009.
  • A fully functioning local government system has been established, with continuing improvements in transparency and accountability during 2004–09; the percentage of households with access to a school within 30 minutes’ walking distance increased from 68 percent to 75 percent between 2005 and 2008.
  • 160,000 insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed in 2009.

Solomon Islands

  • 287,000 work-days were created during 2010–12; more than 4,500 people—57 percent women and 50 percent young people—were trained and employed.

Sri Lanka

  • Over 1 million people have seen their lives improve through the Reawakening Project; since 2004 this project has restored livelihoods to those affected by conflict.
  • As of 2012, more than 90,000 families have started new income-generating activities with low-interest loans from IDA-supported village revolving funds. More than 30,000 ex-combatants have begun their own livelihood activities.


  • 63 primary health care facilities in the Khatlon and Sogd regions were rehabilitated and equipped between 2005 and 2012.
  • Power availability increased by 730 gigawatt hours and heat energy by 14,755 gigacalories between 2009 and 2011, providing urgent support to residents of Dushanbe in critical winter months.


  • 1.8 million people had access to improved water sources in 2012, up more than 400 percent from 350,000 in 2005.
  • 20 million work-days were provided in public works in 2012, an increase of 300 percent, from 5.4 million work-days in 2005.


  • 83 percent of children completed primary school in 2012, up from 73 percent in 2009.
  • Close to 100 percent gender parity was achieved in primary school in 2012.
  • 300,000 people have benefited from basic infrastructure improvements through community programs since 2008.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • More than 52,000 people in poor neighborhoods were protected against the 2010 floods.


  • Five licensed Internet service providers (ISPs) were in place as of 2012 to provide affordable and accessible broadband Internet access for people in Tonga; four additional companies have submitted license applications to become ISPs.


  • More than 3 million people, 47 percent of all northern Ugandans, received access to improved services, including safe drinking water and better sanitation facilities from 2003 to 2012.
  • The time needed to register a property dropped to 30 days in 2013 from 225 days in 2006, and the time needed to register a business dropped from 135 days to 2 days.


  • Between 2004 and 2008, the proportion of women receiving prenatal care increased from 79 percent to 86 percent.
  • Rural dwellers increased their visits to health facilities by 20 percent from 2004 to 2008.


  • 11 major flood and storm mitigation infrastructure projects—including safe harbors, river dykes, evacuation roads, and drainage pumping stations—have been constructed or rehabilitated since 2006 as part of a comprehensive disaster risk management program.
  • 1.2 million people benefited from better sanitation conditions during 2002–12.

Yemen, Republic of

  • An Accounting and Financial Management Information System was rolled out in 13 new central government ministries and 3 central government departments in 2010; a Loans and Grants Management Information System (LGMIS) was rolled out to 17 new project management units.
  • 8.5 days of lead time were taken by line ministries for disbursements in 2012, compared with 40 days in 2011, the result of the roll out of the LGMIS.
  • 3,050 traditional seed varieties were collected and stored in gene banks between 2008 and 2010 to replace ill-suited imported seeds and to preserve agro-biodiversity; 31 priority seed varieties were improved to fit the local climate and improve the country’s food security.


  • Residents of Kabwe saw their lead levels drop by 40 percent from 2003 to 2011; 140,000 cubic meters of radioactive uranium tailings, 272,000 kilograms of persistent organic pollutants waste, and 56,000 cubic meters of lead-contaminated soils were safely disposed.
  • New houses worth $4 million were built, and 175 families previously living in unsafe housing (the land was caving in as a result of underground mining) were relocated to safer modern houses with piped water and electricity in Kitwe and Mufulira from 2006 to 2010.

IDA Results on the Ground

The International Development Association

The International Development Association (IDA) is a game-changer in the field of development, paving the way for others in the most difficult and complex situations to help hundreds of millions of people escape the cycle of abject poverty.

IDA provides leadership on global challenges. From its support for climate resilience to the creation of jobs to get combatants back into society, IDA rallies others on tough issues for the common good and helps make the world more secure.
  • IDA is transformational. IDA helps countries develop solutions that have literally reshaped the development landscape— from its history-changing agriculture solutions for millions of South Asians who faced starvation in the 1970s to its pioneering work in the areas of debt relief and the phase-out of leaded gasoline.
  • IDA is there for the long haul. IDA stays in a country after the cameras leave, emphasizing long-term growth and capability to make sure results are sustained.
  • When the poorest are ignored because they’re not profitable, IDA delivers. IDA provides dignity and quality of life, bringing clean water, electricity, and toilets to hundreds of millions of poor people.
  • IDA makes the world a better place for girls and women. IDA works to reverse millennia of gender discrimination by getting girls to school, helping women access financing to start small businesses, and ultimately helping to improve the economic prospects of families and communities.
  • Working with the World Bank Group, IDA brings an integrated approach to development. IDA helps create environments where change can flourish and where the private sector can jump-start investment.

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)