The World Bank [opens a new website] gives financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.
It is not a bank in the accepted sense but is made up of two unique development institutions owned by its 185 member countries [opens a new website]— the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) [opens a new website] and the International Development Association (IDA). [opens a new website]
Founded in 1944, the Bank works in more than 100 developing economies. It is owned by its member countries who are the shareholders and have the ultimate decision-making power.
The UK plays an active and leading role in the organisation. We hold one of the five permanent executive directorships [opens a new website] and support the bank's focus on accelerated debt relief, the fight against HIV/AIDS and improving development effectiveness. The UK is currently the fourth largest donor to the International Development Association.
The Department for International Development (DFID) [opens a new website] leads on this subject for the UK.