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This Week in World Bank History: July 21 – 27

July 26, 2002 – A presentation of historical events by the World Bank Group Archives, Information Solutions Group (ISG).

July 26, 1948 – Grant Forbes appointed to act as the Bank’s liaison with the ECA and OEEC in Paris.

July 26, 1949 – First funding for Finland: Loan 0016 - Electric Power and Industrial Project. The loan constructed electric power stations, and purchased equipment for the wood products industry, and the limestone power production. Beneficiaries included the Kaukopaa Sulphate Mill on Lake Saima, a modern paper mill producing newsprint, and six other pulp and paper mills. The loan was for $12.5 million, and closed in 1953.

July 25, 1951 – Program for the development of agricultural resources in Uruguay made public in a report by a joint mission of FAO and the Bank.

July, 1953 – The Department of Operations, Western Hemisphere is featured in International Bank Notes. The department was responsible for 20 different countries, extending from the Caribbean to Tierra del Fuego, encompassing great variations in size, climate, altitude, culture, history, and social and political organization. The department was headed by J. Burke Knapp, with Orvis A Schmidt as the Assistant Director and Harold Larsen as the Economic Advisor. It was divided into four divisions: Eastern (Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Western (Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile) the Caribbean (Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and various Caribbean colonies), and the Central (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. "The department has, of recent months, taken unto itself a new activity, namely the study of Spanish, both of language and gesture. Subjected to a barrage of accents, ranging from New Zealand to Hindi, Spanish appeared at first to be fighting a losing battle, but after a spirited resistance, now appears to be well on the way to winning the day." International Bank Notes, July 1953.

July 24, 1956 – Robert L. Garner becomes President of IFC. After joining the Bank in 1947, Garner served as the sole Vice President under Presidents McCloy and Black. He served an important role in introducing the World Bank to the world’s financial community, where he was well known and respected. He served as the First President of IFC from 1956 to 1961. Garner died in December 1975.

July 24, 1956 – New staff appointments as a result of the creation of IFC are announced. W. A. B. Iliff, and J. Burke Knapp are named Vice presidents of Bank; Davidson Sommers appointed Vice President and General Counsel. Orvis A. Schmidt and Federico Consolo appointed to the Western Hemisphere Department. Aron Broches, Ellsworth Clark and Lester Nurick appointed to positions in the Legal Department.

July 21, 1958 – First funding for Sudan: Loan 0202 – Expansion of Railways and Water Transport Facilities Project. The project was for $39 million, and closed in 1964. The loan financed the imported equipment and materials needed to increase the capacity and improve the operating efficiency of the railways and of river transport services on the Nile. It built two new railway extensions into the South and West of the country, and increased berthing capacity at Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

July 31, 1958 – Indus Waters negotiations adjourned temporarily to examine the engineering plan prepared by the Pakistan delegation.

July, 1958 – "After a rather damp start at the beginning of the season, the ‘drought’ of the past month or two has provided ideal weather for tennis and Club members have turned out in force to take full advantage of it. In fact, tennis has more than held its own despite the lure of the beaches on the week-ends and every Tuesday and Thursday at ‘quittin’ time’ there is a great rush of sun-tanned, white-clad enthusiasts to the courts on Wisconsin to make the most of the remaining daylight hours." International Bank Notes, September-October, 1958.

July 25, 1962 – IFC Articles of Agreement are signed by Tunisia, which becomes the 64th member of IFC.

July 26, 1962 – Fifteen persons accept appointments in New Development Advisory Service.

July 24, 1963 – The first meeting of the Consultative Group for the Sudan, convened by the World Bank, takes place.

July 25, 1963 – Announcement is made to staff that President George Woods had surgery in Seattle, and is recovering satisfactorily.

July 21, 1966  – First Consultative Group for Peru, convened by the World Bank, meets in Paris and is attended by representatives of twelve governments and five international aid organizations.

July 24, 1968 – IBRD and IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Botswana, which becomes the 108th member of the Bank, and the 99th member of IDA.

July 25, 1968 – IBRD Articles of Agreement are signed by Lesotho, which becomes the 109th member of the Bank.

July 25, 1968 – Afghanistan becomes the 41st member of ICSID.

July 23, 1969 – Second replenishment of IDA resources comes into effect, with a commitment authority of $1.4 billion for the three-year fiscal period of 1969-197, with formal notifications of US agreement to participate.

July 22, 1970 – IBRD and IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Cambodia, which becomes the 115th member of the Bank and the 106th member of IDA.

July 22, 1970 – IDA announces agreement on its third replenishment at a level permitting credits of approximately $813 million a year for a three-year period (first payments scheduled for November 8, 1971).

July 24, 1979  – Proposals to begin lending operations in health are approved by the Executive Directors.

July 21, 1980 – IFC and IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Solomon Islands, which becomes the 114th member of IFC and the 122nd member of IDA.

July 22, 1981  Appointment of Percy Mistry as Senior Financial Adviser to the Senior Vice President, Finance, is announced.

July 22, 1983  Israel becomes the 83rd member of ICSID.

July 23, 1985  First funding for Mozambique: Credit 1610 – Rehabilitation Program Project.

July 24, 1987  Further Questions and Answers on Implementing the Bank Reorganization are issued to all staff.

July 21, 1988  IFC establishes the Africa Enterprise Fund to expand assistance to small and medium sized enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is headed by Mr. Guy Antoine.

July 25, 1988  MIGA Articles of Agreement are signed by St. Lucia, which becomes the 43rd member of MIGA.

July 25, 1988  Gregory Ingram appointed Principal Adviser, Policy and Research.

July 27, 1988  MIGA Articles of Agreement are signed by Vanuatu, which becomes the 44th member of MIGA.

July 22, 1991  IFC Articles of Agreement are signed by Bulgaria, which becomes the 142nd member of IFC.

First funding for Bulgaria: Loan 3384 - Technical Assistance for Economic Reform Project.

July 26, 1991  First funding for Angola: Credit 2274 - Economic Management Capacity Building Project.

July 23, 1992  IBRD and IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Kazakhstan, which becomes the 163rd member of the Bank and the 143rd member of IDA.

July 23, 1992  Estonia becomes the 100th member of ICSID.

July 24, 1993  Federated States of Micronesia becomes the 109th member of ICSID.

July 23, 1995  Bolivia becomes the 119th member of ICSID.

July 19, 1998  The World Bank Chief Economist visits Beijing, China to discuss China’s macroeconomic situation and structural reform efforts, the effects of the East Asian crisis, and to visit the Southwest Poverty Reduction Project supported by the World Bank.

July 25, 1998  World Bank President James Wolfensohn addresses the World Faiths and Development Dialogue at Lambeth England. Wolfensohn addressed 735 Anglican bishops, calling for cooperation between the Bank and the Church to solve the problems of the developing countries.

July 25, 2000  The World Bank agrees to become a part of the Development Gateway Foundation, an independent entity combining public and private support geared to addressing the digital divide and reducing poverty. The Foundation will fund the Development Gateway Portal, an internet platform providing information on development from donor agencies, governments, universities, companies, and civil society organizations. Other Foundation activities include a network of research and training centers, and a Development Forum for virtual discussions on key information and communication technology issues.

Without Records there is no History. Courtesy of ISG’s World Bank Group Archives.

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