The term "World Bank" generally refers to the IBRD and IDA, whereas the World Bank Group is used to refer to the institutions collectively.
The World Bank's (i.e. the IBRD and IDA's) activities are focused on developing countries, in fields such as human development (e.g. education, health), agriculture and rural development (e.g. irrigation, rural services), environmental protection (e.g. pollution reduction, establishing and enforcing regulations), infrastructure (e.g. roads, urban regeneration, electricity), and governance (e.g. anti-corruption, legal institutions development). The IBRD and IDA provide loans at preferential rates to member countries, as well as grants to the poorest countries. Loans or grants for specific projects are often linked to wider policy changes in the sector or the economy. For example, a loan to improve coastal environmental management may be linked to development of new environmental institutions at national and local levels and the implementation of new regulations to limit pollution.
The activities of the IFC and MIGA include investment in the private sector and providing insurance respectively.
The World Bank Institute is the capacity development branch of the World Bank, providing learning and other capacity-building programs to member countries. Two countries, Venezuela and Ecuador, have recently withdrawn from the World Bank.
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 common sense. We are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 186 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management.