The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. The World Bank Group comprises five institutions managed by their member countries.
Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. We have more than 10,000 employees in more than 120 offices worldwide.
Financial Products and Services
We provide low-interest loans, zero to low-interest credits, and grants to developing countries. These support a wide array of investments in such areas as education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. Some of our projects are cofinanced with governments, other multilateral institutions, commercial banks, export credit agencies, and private sector investors.
We also provide or facilitate financing through trust fund partnerships with bilateral and multilateral donors. Many partners have asked the Bank to help manage initiatives that address needs across a wide range of sectors and developing regions.
Innovative Knowledge Sharing
We offer support to developing countries through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. Our analytical work often underpins World Bank financing and helps inform developing countries’ own investments. In addition, we support capacity development in the countries we serve. We also sponsor, host, or participate in many conferences and forums on issues of development, often in collaboration with partners.
To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the Bank is constantly seeking to improve the way it shares its knowledge and engages with clients and the public at large. Key priorities include:
- Results: We continue to sharpen our focus on helping developing countries deliver measurable results.
- Reform: We are working to improve every aspect of our work: how projects are designed, how information is made available (Access to Information), and how to bring our operations closer to client governments and communities.
- Open Development: We offer a growing range of free, easy-to-access tools, research and knowledge to help people address the world's development challenges. For example, the Open Data website offers free access to comprehensive, downloadable indicators about development in countries around the globe. We have also made World Bank Live—live discussions open to participants worldwide—a key part of our Spring and Annual Meetings with the International Monetary Fund.