The World Bank is an international financial institution which is affiliated to the United Nations. The world bank looks to improve the economic development of its members through technical and financial assistance. It is particularly important as a source of financial assistance (loans) to the developing world for capital programs. The World Bank has its headquarters is in Washington DC.
The World Bank comprises of two of the five bodies which makes up the World Bank Group. The International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) gives loans to middle-income developing countries, and was created two aid the reconstruction of European countries after World War II. (The IBRD was founded at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, and became operational the following year.) The International Development Association (IDA) gives loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA was created in 1960 to complement the IBRD.
The World Bank was founded at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 (along with the International Monetary Fund) with the aim of reducing world poverty.