Founded in 1944 to help Europe recover from World War II, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is one of five institutions that make up the World Bank Group. IBRD is the part of the World Bank (IBRD/IDA) that works with middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries to promote sustainable, equitable and job-creating growth, reduce poverty and address issues of regional and global importance.
Structured something like a cooperative, IBRD is owned and operated for the benefit of its 187 member countries. Delivering flexible, timely and tailored financial products, knowledge and technical services, and strategic advice helps its members achieve results. Through the World Bank Treasury, IBRD clients also have access to capital on favorable terms in larger volumes, with longer maturities, and in a more sustainable manner than world financial markets typically provide.
Specifically, the IBRD:
- supports long-term human and social development needs that private creditors do not finance;
- preserves borrowers' financial strength by providing support in crisis periods, which is when poor people are most adversely affected;
- uses the leverage of financing to promote key policy and institutional reforms (such as safety net or anticorruption reforms);
- creates a favorable investment climate in order to catalyze the provision of private capital;
- provides financial support (in the form of grants made available from the IBRD's net income) in areas that are critical to the well-being of poor people in all countries.
Middle-income countries, where 70 percent of the world's poor live, have made profound improvements in economic management and governance over the past two decades and are rapidly increasing their demand for the strategic, intellectual and financial resources the World Bank has to offer. The challenge facing the IBRD is to better manage and deliver its resources to best meet the needs of these countries.
To increase its impact in middle-income countries, IBRD is working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral development banks. In the course of its work, IBRD is also striving to capitalize on middle-income countries' own accumulated knowledge and development experiences and collaborates with foundations, civil society partners and donors in the development community. For more information about this effort, see Strengthening Middle Income Countries Engagement.