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When it was founded back in 1944 no one could possibly have foreseen how the World Bank – known more formally as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) – would flourish. Today, with 188 members, it is by far the largest lender for projects in agriculture, health, infrastructure and many other fields in developing countries around the world, with a budget of billions of dollars and a staff of more than 9,000, and its advice is usually heeded by both the developing countries which borrow from it and the advanced ones which contribute.
This second edition of the Historical Dictionary of the World Bank shows the substantial progress the Bank has made, this mainly through the dictionary section with concise entries on its component institutions, related organizations, its achievements in various fields, some of the major projects and member countries, and its various presidents. The introduction explains how the Bank works while the chronology traces the major events over nearly 70 years. Meanwhile, the list of acronyms reminds us just who the main players are. And the bibliography directs readers to useful internal documentation and outside studies.