The Bretton Woods Agreement, signed in 1944, established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. While the IMF was primarily tasked with maintaining exchange rate stability and providing short-term financing for member countries, the World Bank was established with the objective of promoting economic development and reducing poverty around the world.
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to developing countries for various development projects. Its mission is to help alleviate poverty by promoting sustainable economic growth and social development. The bank is comprised of five institutions – 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).
The IBRD provides loans and investment assistance to middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA provides interest-free loans and grants to the poorest countries in the world. The IFC is focused on promoting private sector development in developing countries, while MIGA provides political risk insurance and other services to investors in these countries. ICSID provides arbitration and conciliation services for disputes between investors and member countries.
The World Bank also provides technical support and advice to member countries on economic policy, governance, and institutional development. This includes helping countries to improve their financial management systems, strengthen their legal frameworks, and enhance their capacity to implement reforms.
In recent years, the World Bank has also placed a greater emphasis on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation. Its Climate Change Action Plan includes a focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable land use practices. The bank has also established various funds and initiatives to support climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries.
In conclusion, the task of the World Bank, established by the Bretton Woods Agreement, is to promote economic development, alleviate poverty, and provide financial assistance and technical support to member countries. Its mission has expanded to include a focus on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation, reflecting the evolving needs and challenges facing the developing world.