Understanding the Role and Function of The World Bank By Mark Darko

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The World Bank is an international organization dedicated to providing financing, advice, and research to developing nations to aid their economic advancement. The bank predominantly acts as an organization that attempts to fight poverty by offering developmental assistance to middle- and low-income countries.

Currently, the World Bank has two stated goals that it aims to achieve by 2030. The first is to end extreme poverty by decreasing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to below 3% of the world population. The second is to increase overall prosperity by increasing income growth in the bottom 40% of every country in the world.


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The World Bank is a provider of financial and technical assistance to individual countries around the globe. The bank considers itself a unique financial institution that sets up partnerships to reduce poverty and support economic development.

The World Bank supplies qualifying governments with low-interest loans, zero-interest credits, and grants, all to support the development of individual economies. Debt borrowings and cash infusions help with global education, healthcare, public administration, infrastructure, and private-sector development. The World Bank also shares information with various entities through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. It offers advice and training for both the public and private sectors.

Examples of What the World Bank Does
The World Bank provides financing, advice, and other resources to developing countries in the areas of education, public safety, health, and other areas of need. Often, nations, organizations, and other institutions partner with the World Bank to sponsor development projects.

Human Capital Project
In 2017, the World Bank created the Human Capital Project, which seeks to help countries invest in and develop their people to be productive citizens and active contributors to their economy.

World leaders are urged to prioritize investments in education, healthcare, and social protections, and, in return, they will realize a stronger economy full of healthy, thriving adults.

The Human Capital project outlines how governments should invest in providing quality, affordable childcare to support and improve child development, increase women’s access to better employment opportunities, and increase economic growth, to name a few.

To build human capital globally, the World Bank has identified several areas of focus: the Human Capital Index (HCI), measurement and research, and country engagement.

Created in October 2018, the Human Capital Index summarizes a nation’s investments in its human capital, specifically concerning health and education. The index is used to identify what is lost from the lack of investments in human capital; it also prompts leaders to think of how to remedy these deficiencies.

Beyond analyzing human capital, the World Bank measures the effectiveness of a nation’s educational and healthcare systems. Doing so helps them identify what should be continued and what should be changed. It can also give insight on where to allocate resources.

Country engagement requires a country to take a “whole government” approach to addressing factors that compromise human capital. The nation, its leaders, and influencers band together to champion reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity.

National Immunization Support Project
In April 2016, the World Bank approved the National Immunization Support Project for Pakistan.
This project, costing an estimated $377.41 million, aims to increase the equitable distribution of vaccines to children ages 0 to 23 months.

The project consists of five components that are designed to enhance the country’s vaccine distribution to the most vulnerable. The first component creates a governance structure and addresses logistics, monitoring, and evaluation systems. The second component involves performance planning and the alignment of skilled human resources.

The third component increases the awareness of and promotes the program among Pakistan’s citizens, as well as addresses how their schools’ curriculum aligns with this initiative. The fourth component makes it possible to obtain the necessary equipment to widely distribute vaccines and increase the supply chain for vaccines. Lastly, the fifth component includes being able to expand the program’s reach and enhance research and development in this field.

World Banks

Through the years, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a group of five unique and cooperative institutional organizations, known as the World Banks or collectively as the World Bank Group. The first organization is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), an institution that provides debt financing to governments that are considered middle income. The second organization within the World Bank Group is the International Development Association (IDA), a group that gives interest-free loans to the governments of poor countries.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the third organization, focuses on the private sector and provides developing countries with investment financing and financial advisory services. The fourth part of the World Bank Group is the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an organization that promotes foreign direct investments in developing countries. The fifth organization is the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an entity that provides arbitration on international investment disputes.

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Sources: Bank of Ghana, Bloomberg, GSE, Reuters, Investopaedia, Ghanaweb, Doobia, BBC, Graphic Business, B&FT,

By Mark Darko

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