The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. We comprise two institutions managed by 187 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses exclusively on the world's poorest countries. These institutions are part of a larger body known as the World Bank Group.
We provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries. These support a wide array of investments in such areas as education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. Some of our projects are cofinanced with governments, other multilateral institutions, commercial banks, export credit agencies, and private sector investors. We offer support to developing countries through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. Our analytical work often underpins World Bank financing and helps inform developing countries' own investments. In addition, we support capacity development in the countries we serve. We also sponsor, host, or participate in many conferences and forums on issues of development, often in collaboration with partners.