Funding the world

Since the World Bank was created after World War II, its two development lending groups have made 14,428 loans and grants worth $577.1 billion on everything from power plant development to local governance projects. Now, as the bank's main customers become increasingly middle class, the organization is in the middle of an internal debate over how to reshape its role.

This chart shows how spending in the bank's designated world regions has changed over the decades. Read related article

The IBRD's first loans to Europe in 1947 totaled $48.3 million, which is small compared to modern loans.

Financial crisis in Southeast Asia in 1997 and Brazil in 1999 contributed to this 1998 spike.

Loans and grants totaled just under $50 billion in 2009.

Loans to each world region since 1947
(in 2012 dollars):

  • Latin America and the Caribbean 2,961 loans worth $139.76 billion
  • East Asia and the Pacific 2,355 loans worth $111.45 billion
  • Sub-Saharan Africa 4,140 loans worth $99.33 billion
  • South Asia 1,609 loans worth $98.36 billion
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia 1,982 loans worth $95.45 billion
  • Middle East and North Africa 1,169 loans worth $32.73 billion

World Bank glossary

The bank, which is based in Washington, D.C., is made up of five organizations with different goals.

SOURCE: World Bank Group Finances

Note: Regional totals do not equal the total number of loans because 212 loans or grants were not assigned to a specific region.