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World Bank

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The World Bank is not a "bank" in the common sense. It is one of the United Nations' specialized agencies, and is made up of 184 member countries. These countries are jointly responsible for how the institution is financed and how its money is spent. Along with the rest of the development community, the World Bank centers its efforts on the reaching the Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by UN members in 2000 and aimed at sustainable poverty reduction.

The "World Bank" is the name that has come to be used for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association. Together these organizations provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries. Some 10,000 development professionals from nearly every country in the world work in the World Bank's Washington DC headquarters or in its 109 country offices.

The World Bank Group's mission is to fight poverty and improve the living standards of people in the developing world. It is a development Bank which provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge sharing services to low and middle income countries to reduce poverty. The Bank promotes growth to create jobs and to empower poor people to take advantage of these opportunities.

James D. Wolfensohn is the ninth president of the World Bank Group. He is chairman of the Bank's Board of Executive Directors and president of five interrelated organizations: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

ICSID operates as a secretariat whose secretary-general is selected by its governing Administrative Council every six years. The World Bank Group president is chairman of the Administrative Council.

The Executive Vice Presidents of IFC and MIGA report to the president of the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group's senior management is made up of four managing directors -- Shengman Zhang, Jeffery Goldstein, Mamphela Ramphele



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