Founded in 1944 at the monetary and financial conference at Bretton Woods, USA, the World Bank is a United Nations specialised agency. Its task was to promote reconstruction after the Second World War and to create stable currencies together with the IMF.
Since the 1960s it has been fighting world poverty and working for the improvement of the living conditions of people in the Third World. The World Bank is the most important financial provider for development cooperation projects. Its headquarters is in Washington, with a further 109 national offices. The World Bank Group includes five organizations:
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
- International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The senior decision-making body is the Board of Governors, in which every member is represented by one Governor and one Alternate Governor. Voting power depends on the amount of capital participation. The World Bank is managed by a President and 24 Executive Directors.