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What is the World Bank? Discuss its various objectives and role of its affiliated agencies.

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The World Bank is an International Financial Institution that was established in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference.

The following are some of the main objectives behind the setting up of the World Bank:

1. To facilitate the task of reconstruction of the war-affected European countries.

2. To focus on the development of underdeveloped nations of the world.

3. To encourage investments in infrastructure development, agriculture, health and industry;

4. To eradicate poverty, increase the income of the poor and provide technological support.

The following are some of the affiliates of the World Bank:

1. MIGA: MIGA, or the Multinational Investment Guarantee Agency, was established in April 1988 with the objective of encouraging foreign direct investments in the less developed nations of the world. It also aims at insuring investors against political and noncommercial risks and providing advisory services. 

2. IFC: The IFC, or the International Finance Corporation, was formed in 1956 as a separate legal entity to provide finance to the private sector in developing nations. Although the IFC is an affiliate of the World Bank, it has its own funding, besides functions that are managed independently. 

3. IDA: The IDA, or the International Development Association, was established in 1960 with the affiliation to the World Bank. The basic objective of the association is to provide loans and grants on a soft-loan basis to the less developed member countries—it aims at providing loans at concessional rates to the member countries whose per capita income is very low. It is because of this objective that the IDA is also known as the World Bank’s soft-loan window.

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