World Bank Group

Logo: World Bank Group
Logo: World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is the world’s largest provider of funding for sustainable development. Its primary goal is to fight extreme poverty and promote a just distribution of the world’s wealth. In doing so, it helps achieve international development goals.

The "World Bank Group" inscription on the main building of the World Bank in Washington
The World Bank was founded along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods (USA) in July 1944.

Both institutions are specialised agencies of the United Nations and are headquartered in Washington, DC. The Spring Meetings and Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF take place at the same time.

The US is the largest shareholder of the World Bank Group, with 16.3 per cent of the shares, and traditionally appoints the President.

The World Bank Group consists of five organisations:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD (External link))
    As the lead institution of the World Bank Group, IBRD provides loans to middle-income countries. Germany is IBRD’s fourth largest shareholder with a capital share of 4.6 per cent.
  • International Development Association (IDA (External link))
    IDA is the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries. It provides low- to zero-interest loans and grants. The fund is replenished every three years. Germany is the fourth largest donor and contributed 1.9 billion US dollars to the current (early) replenishment round (IDA20).
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC (External link))⁠
    IFC supports private companies in developing countries. Germany is the third largest donor with a capital share of 5.5 per cent.
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA (External link))
    MIGA insures private-sector direct investment in developing countries by offering guarantees against political risks. Germany is the third largest donor with a capital share of 5.0 per cent.
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID (External link))
    ICSID is an independent body within the World Bank Group. It provides facilities for arbitration in investment disputes between governments and foreign investors. Germany has been a member of ICSID since it was founded in 1966.

The first two of the institutions mentioned here – IBRD and IDA – are collectively referred to as the “World Bank”.

The BMZ’s cooperation with the World Bank Group

Within the German government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for the World Bank Group. German Development Minister Svenja Schulze is Germany’s Governor at the World Bank Group.

In addition to the Minister acting as one of the 25 members of the Board of Governors, Germany is also represented by an Executive Director on the Supervisory Board.

The "World Bank Group" inscription on the main building of the World Bank in Washington

Talks in Washington and New York Development Minister Schulze working to advance World Bank reform and Sahel cooperation Internal link

15 May 2023 |

Today, German Development Minister Svenja Schulze will be travelling to Washington in order to help increase the momentum of the ongoing reform of the World Bank, which is geared towards turning it into a climate and transformation bank. During her visit, she will also be lobbying for international support for the Sahel region and for more efforts for far-sighted action against crises and poverty.

Logo: World Bank Group

Development finance Press statement on the election of Ajay Banga as next World Bank President Internal link

3 May 2023 |

German Development Minister and German World Bank Governor Svenja Schulze said, “I congratulate Mr Banga on his election as the next World Bank President. The World Bank and its future President are facing major tasks.”

Participants at the World Bank Group Spring Meeting in Washington D.C.

World Bank Spring Meeting First progress made towards a fundamental reform Internal link

13 April 2023 |

At the World Bank Spring Meeting, broad support was expressed on Wednesday evening for ambitious steps towards a fundamental reform of the World Bank. The aim is for the Bank to be better able to support developing countries in their efforts to tackle global challenges like climate change.

Niels Annen, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Spring Meeting At World Bank Spring Meeting, Germany calls for biggest-ever reform of the Bank Internal link

11 April 2023 |

At this week's World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington, Germany will be calling for a fundamental reform of the World Bank. The agenda of the meeting of World Bank shareholders on Wednesday includes decision-making on the first steps to prepare the reform and on its further course.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen exchanged views on World Bank reform in a video conference.

Reform process Schulze and Yellen call for fundamental reform of the World Bank Internal link

20 March 2023 |

Germany's Governor to the World Bank, Development Minister Svenja Schulze, today talked to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Schulze: “In order to successfully tackle global challenges such as the climate crisis, trillions of dollars in investments are needed – including in particular in developing countries and emerging economies. One key lever for this is a fundamental reform of the World Bank. Janet Yellen is an important ally in this endeavour.”

As at: 20/03/2023