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World Bank

  World Bank is the colloquial name for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Established at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, it opened for business at its Washington DC headquarters in 1946, with 38 members. By 1960, the number of members had risen to 68 and to 150 in 1986. The bank\'s aim is to provide low-interest, long-term loans to people and governments for economic development when such loans are not available from private sources. Originally intended to finance Europe\'s reconstruction after World War II, the bank\'s first loans were to France, Holland and Denmark, and then it quickly started to concentrate on loans to poor countries. It is now the largest single source of development aid.

Loanable funds are provided from subscription for capital stock from member nations according to economic importance. The bank can also raise funds by selling bonds. It makes loans for economic development projects that are expected to produce a return to pay back the loan, such as cattle ranching in Spain. It also makes loans to governments for social overhead capital that increases the productivity of enterprise in a country, such as roads, schools, labour training, etc. TF



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