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History of the World Bank. What is the impact of the world bank upon development in the south - Essay Example

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The World Bank (WB) is a renowned international financial institution. Major objective behind its formation was to provide loans to developing countries through capital programs. …
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History of the World Bank. What is the impact of the world bank upon development in the south
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Download file to see previous pages The World Bank Group has five agencies (IEG, 2008). Since its inception during World War II with an objective to rebuild Europe, the World Bank generated more criticism and controversy than any other financial institution in the world. Even threatened by its conceivers, beneficiaries, and supporters, the World Bank is closely monitored by agencies which developed around it over a period of time. The institution itself reached at a stage of engulfed by the mounting pressures. However, these pressures have always been there and exerted by either donor governments, national governments, donor agencies, citizen groups, or even World Bank's employees. Their annual meetings are echoed by the slogans of "Ya Basta!" ("Enough is enough!")(Nath, 2001, p.1). Moreover, Meltzer commission report (2000) declared the World Bank as "irrelevant" in the mission of reducing poverty and promoting development (cited in Nath, 2001, p.1). The World Bank as Global Development Agency During the Bretton Woods, USA conference in 1944, 43 countries' meeting led to the establishment of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).IBRD's major objective was to provide loans for rebuilding Europe after WWII. For instance IBRD provided US$28,600,000 for rebuilding and development of the steel industry in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg (World Bank, cited in Nath, 2001, p.2).However, the World Bank's lending portfolio failed to meet the increasing demands within the industrialized countries. Mounting pressure led IBRD to channelize its funds in other developing and poor nations. However, the lack of expertise in dealing with developing countries and a continuous pressure to lend made it disastrous which led to overnight rebirth of IBRD as the World Bank. In its shift from West to East, the World Bank could anticipate the investment opportunities in long-term loans to developing countries for their huge infrastructure projects. It led to the dramatic increase in the Bank's lending for large scale dam project sin Asia, roads projects in Africa, and highway projects in Latin America(Nath,2001,pp.2-3). With above deployments, the World Bank found its niche-electricity supply that is associated with dam projects and represented nearly 50 percent of Bank's annual lending.World Bank patented the approach of "Economic Colonization" for global development. The newly found role as a developmental financial institution, World Bank grew as a powerful and influential institution throughout world. Its investments proved to be very profitable for donors and stakeholders since 1948.There had been times when annual rate of return exceeded the annual amount of loan provided. In that period, even when Bank focused on investing in socials sector, the traditional sector investments increased (World Bank 1992, BIC, 1990 cited in Nath, 2001, p.3). The trend of such investment and returns continued until international debt crisis emerged in early 1980s.The risk of World Bank loan's default increased. The Bank changed its focus after a series of closed door meetings of World Bank's shareholders (United States, Japan, Germany, France, and UK). Rather than a traditional project lending approach, World Bank focused on bringing developing economies in its control in order to ensure the return. Until the ends of early 80s, approximately 25 percent of the Bank's funds were used for economic restructuring of developing countries through its Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs).SAP was remote controlling the budget and expenses of the recipient countries. World Bank and IMF, often called Bretton Woods twins, were in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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