The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.
The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty. According to its Articles of Agreement (as amended effective 16 February 1989), all its decisions must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of capital investment.
The World Bank comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
The World Bank should not be confused with the World Bank Group, which comprises the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).