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Project Policies - Feature Photo

The World Bank offers a wide range of lending and non-lending solutions to meet the world's development challenges.

Investment operations focus on the long-term (5 to 10 years) and finance goods, works and services that support economic and social development projects. These investment projects encompass a broad range of sectors - from agriculture to urban development, rural infrastructure, education and health.

Development policy operations typically run from one to three years, and provide quick-disbursing external financing to support government policy and institutional reforms. Originally designed to provide support for macroeconomic policy reforms, development policy loans, credits and grants now focus more on structural, financial sector and social policy reforms - improving, for example, the management of public resources, the functioning of the judiciary or promoting good governance.

In all the projects it finances, the World Bank takes its responsibility to shareholders, donors and investors seriously. The Bank works diligently to make sure that procurement for projects is conducted appropriately, so that loan and other funds are used for their intended purposes.


The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument on January 24, 2012. PforR is an innovative financing instrument for the World Bank's client countries that links the disbursement of funds directly to the delivery of defined results.

This innovative instrument will help the Bank's partner countries improve the design and implementation of their development programs and achieve lasting results by strengthening institutions and building capacity. It will also help strengthen partnerships with government, development partners and other stakeholders by providing a platform to collaborate in larger country programs.

Read more about PforR

The World Bank promotes an efficient use of financial resources through traditional and innovative financial services, including the use of adequate risk mitigation tools. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) offers eligible member countries access to a full menu of banking products and services for risk management, and flexible solutions for managing currency, interest rate and commodity risk exposures.

The banking products provide ample flexibility to customize terms like repayment schedules, currency selection, including local currency, and interest rate fixity.

Trust funds are financial and administrative arrangements the World Bank has with an external donor that leads to grants, credits, loans or guarantees for high-priority development needs, such as technical assistance, advisory services, debt relief, post-conflict transition and co-financing. Trust funds are accounted for separately from the Bank's own resources.

The Bank also provides grants that are either funded directly or managed through partnerships. Most grants are designed to encourage new ideas, approaches and solutions to development problems; organizations working together; and participation by stakeholders at national and local levels.

The World Bank Guarantee program meets the growing need many commercial lenders have for products that lesson political risk, when they consider financial investment in developing countries where there is an extra element of risk.

The Bank's basic objective in offering guarantees is to pull together private capital for investment projects on a "lender of last resort" basis. The Bank's presence in these transactions is seen by investors as a stabilizing factor, because of the World Bank's long term relationship with the countries and the policy support the Bank provides to the governments.

The World Bank's vast research, analytical and technical capabilities are a vital part of the Bank's contribution to development. Use of these services can help member governments adopt better policies, programs and reforms that lead to greater economic growth and poverty reduction. Products range from reports on key economic and social issues, to policy notes, to knowledge-sharing workshops and conferences.

Last updated: 2012-04-13

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