The World Bank is an international bank whose main goals are to end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity. It was set up at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, is located in Washington DC and is traditionally presided by an American, although at the moment that is Jim Yong Kim. The institution is working on trying to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and wants to achieve this through helping countries to become good places for investment, create jobs and promote sustainable growth via the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association which focuses mainly on poverty reduction in the poorest countries. Voting powers in the two organizations of the World Bank are proportional to the shares the respective countries have in the capital of the World Bank, leading to developing countries having little saying.
Topic 1 | Considering measures to prevent reverse graduation into the International Development Association (IDA)
The International Development Association (IDA) was established in 1959 as a sub-organ of the World Bank in order to provide access to low-interest loans for less economically developed countries that would have difficulty accessing loans from other creditors. Member States of the World Bank are eligible for IDA loans based on an assessment by the IDA that considers per capita income, creditworthiness and performance. At present 81 Member States are eligible for IDA loans, whilst 36 have graduated, meaning that they have improved the development status such that they are no longer eligible for IDA loans. However, eight countries have reverse graduated into eligibility for IDA loans. Thus, it is important to consider what the IDA can do to prevent the future prospect of current debtor Member States from reverting to IDA eligibility, and what the World Bank can do to to address the issues faced by newly-graduated Member States.
Topic 2 | How to achieve social development and economic growth of underdeveloped areas through electrification schemes?
Despite the importance of electricity services for economic and social development, about 1.1 billion people lack access to them. In that light, the WB Organisation, aiming at improving living conditions and enhancing the potential of third world regions to achieve sustainable development, has launched numerous electrification projects world-wide. The primary objectives of these electrification schemes is to increase the capacity, efficiency, and quality of electricity supply. However,the collateral developmental benefits often cited as possibly due to electrification are numerous. Our aim is to detect these benefits and examine how they can contribute to boosting the economy of these regions. Therefore, we can ensure that the access to electricity is not only a matter of “turning on the lights” in under-developed regions but a means of economic growth and prosperity to their societies.