How Does the World Bank Aid Developing Countries?
The World Bank, founded in 1944, is part of the World Bank Group and consists of two financial institutions: The International Bank for Reconstruction & Development and the International Development Association. Based in Washington D.C., the aim of the World Bank is to tackle the problem of global poverty by their work with developing countries.
Instead of just throwing money at the problem, the World Bank is more than just a lender. Underpinning all their projects – past, present and future – is their research work and their painstaking analysis of issues. The Bank has over 200,000 reports, research and working papers relating to all of the 12,000 projects they have been responsible for, some of which date back to 1947. All of these documents (including the primary data from which they drew) are available online completely free of charge.
The importance of shared knowledge and technical know-how is also crucial to the way the World bank operates. Their knowledge bank contains over 10,000 courses as well as e-learnings which are accessible to anyone working in the field of economic and sustainable development. Unlike commercial loans, borrowers have free access to this information bank which boosts the success rates of any project the Bank helps to finance.
Apart from their lending activity, the World Bank has a number of specialised projects which concentrate on reducing poverty. The Human Capital Project recognises that developing countries can’t pull themselves out of poverty unless they have a healthy and educated labour force which has better living conditions. For this reason, they have a number of projects to achieve this goal. This includes a safe sanitation programme (including safe drinking water), worth $10 billion, with which they’re working in close collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Another of the key projects administered by the World Bank is the crucial role of women in improving the economic conditions in developing countries. When women have their own money, it has a direct effect on the financial situation of the household (especially children) and by extension, the economy of the entire country.
In order to tackle the problem that 2.7 billion women don’t enjoy the same legal rights as men, the World Bank has invested heavily in the Women Entrepreneur Finance Initiative. This project, worth $1.6 billion, aims to give women the funding to start their own business. Not only does it benefit the women in terms of realising their potential, but it can help reduce the problems of children’s stunted growth in poverty-stricken households and help them boost their academic performance. At present, only a half of children in developing countries meet the minimum educational standards. These countries can’t pull themselves out of poverty unless they have a well-educated and knowledgeable workforce prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.