|World Bank (the Bank), is an internationally supported bank that provides loans to developing countries for development programs with the stated goal of reducing poverty. The World Bank differs from the World Bank Group in that the former comprises only the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, while the latter incorporates these entities in addition to three others.
The World Bank was formally established on December 27, 1945, following the ratification of the Bretton Woods agreement. The concept was originally conceived in July 1944 at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. Two years later, the Bank issued its first loan: $250 million to France for post-war reconstruction, the main focus of the Bank's work in the early post-World War II years. Over time, the "development" side of the Bank's work has assumed a larger share of its lending, although it is still involved in post-conflict reconstruction, together with reconstruction after natural disasters, response to humanitarian emergencies and post-conflict rehabilitation needs affecting developing and transition economies.
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