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 771 poorest countries, 39 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 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom survive on less than $2 a day.
IDA lends money on concessional terms. This means that IDA charges little or no interest and repayments are stretched over 25 to 38 years, including a 5- to 10-year grace period. IDA also provides grants to countries at risk of debt distress.
In addition to concessional loans and grants, IDA provides significant levels of debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
Since its inception, IDA has supported activities in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of that going to Africa. For the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2014, IDA commitments reached $22.2 billion spread over 242 new operations. 12 percent of the total was committed on grant terms.
IDA places a premium on development impact and is regarded as a transparent, cost-effective platform for achieving results. In the period 2003–2013, for example, IDA financing immunized more than 597 million children; provided access to health services for 117 million people; and helped 195 million women receive... Read More (pdf) »
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).