Collectively known as the World Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD) and its sister organization the International Development Association (IDA) are on a mission to improve the world. The IBRD strives to reduce poverty in creditworthy middle-income countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services. It serves countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, funding development activities by selling bonds in international capital markets. IDA assists the world's poorest countries, helping them develop effective health care, education, and government institutions.
Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean were the biggest recipients of the Bank's largesse in fiscal 2012 (ends June), with Africa receiving 21%, while the other three regions each received 19%.
In fiscal 2012 (ends June), the World Bank Group committed $52.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and to private businesses. IBRD commitments totaled $20.6 billion, compared with $26.7 billion in 2011. IDA, the Bank's fund for the poorest countries, made commitments of $14.8 billion, compared with $16.3 billion in 2011.
The World Bank is owned by its more than 185 member countries.The bank is overseen by 25 executive directors, five of which are selected by the nations with the largest number of shares (currently the US, Japan, Germany, France, and the UK).