The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to national governments for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group (WBG). The WGB has a treaty-based relationship with the United Nations (UN), and through that relationship, works to build a partnership that supports Member States and contributes to effective development outcomes while preserving the distinct mandates of each institution. Over the years, the WBG has collaborated with the UN in nearly every region and sector, and its engagement has deepened since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and now with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The board of governors is the highest decision-making body and consists of one governor and one alternate governor from each country, normally the Minister of Finance or head of the Central Bank, but mostly this is delegated to Executive Directors (EDs), who are elected by the Board.
The World Bank Group adopted two new goals to guide its work: ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. More specifically, the goals are to reduce extreme poverty in the world to less than 3 percent by 2030, and to foster income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population in each country.
Gender and the World Bank Group
The WBG has been promoting gender equality in development since 1977 and takes as its starting point that no country, community, or economy can achieve its potential or meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys. The Gender Data Portal is the World Bank Group’s comprehensive source for the latest sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics covering demography, education, health, access to economic opportunities, public life and decision-making, and agency.
Australia and the World bank
Australia’s membership of, and financial contributions to, the World Bank Group provide Australia with the opportunity to influence policies and priorities. The Treasury provides advice and support to Australia’s constituency offices at the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Treasury provides support to the Treasurer in his role as Governor at these institutions to ensure Australia is best placed to help shape important regional and global policy agendas.
The World Bank Group’s Twin Goals, the SDGs, and the 2030 Development Agenda
The SDGs are aligned with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and the WBG is working with client countries to deliver on the 2030 agenda through three critical areas: (i) finance, (ii) data, and (iii) implementation – supporting country-led and country-owned policies to attain the SDGs.
In 2018 it is estimates that nearly 800 million people now live in extreme poverty – earning $1.90 per day or less. For the first time, the world has set a deadline for ending extreme poverty by 2030. Among the 17 SDGs, ending extreme poverty is goal number one, and it is the same for the World Bank Group.