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International Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Often known as the World Bank, this was set up together with the International Monetary Fund by the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944. Its purpose was to help finance post-war reconstruction by making loans to governments or guaranteeing outside loans. The loans are for fifteen- to twenty-five-year periods. The Bank is a specialized agency of the United Nations. About one-third of the funds come from Europe. Members must also be members of the International Monetary Fund. Two off-shoots of the Bank are the international finance corporation (1960) and the International Development Association (1961). Both of these place particular emphasis on aid to less-developed member countries. which have become more demanding in recent years.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.