Timeline of the World Bank

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This is a timeline of the World Bank, an international financial institution that provides loans to countries for capital projects.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1950s Early years. The World Bank starts playing a major role in financing investments in infrastructural projects in developing countries, including roads, hydroelectric dams, water and sewage facilities, maritime ports, and airports.[1]
1960s Most African countries become members of the World Bank.
1970s The Bank shifts its attention to poverty eradication. Development projects reflect people-oriented objectives rather than exclusively the construction of material structures. Projects related to food production, rural and urban development, and population, health and nutrition are designed to reach the poor directly.[2]
1980s The Bank continues to enlarge its focus on issues of social development. Issues of social life, including education, communications, cultural heritage, and good governance come to the fore.[2]
1990s Most countries of the former Eastern Bloc become members of the World Bank.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1944 Formation The World Bank is created at the Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[1] The Bank’s initial aim is to help rebuild European countries devastated by World War II.[2] "The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, better known as the Bretton Woods Conference, is held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, July 1-22, 1944. The conference was preceded by years of planning and discussion that laid the foundation for the conference’s success. Lord John Maynard Keynes of the United Kingdom leads the commission on the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The commission produces the draft proposal for the World Bank’s Articles of Agreement, which are approved by conference delegates."[3]
1945 December 27 Formation The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is officially created when, on December 27th, a sufficient number of member country representatives convene in Washington, D.C., and sign the Bank’s Articles of Agreement. In a statement, the United States Treasury Secretary Fred M. Vinson announces that, “History is being written today.”[4]
1945 December 27 Membership Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Iraq, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States become members of the World Bank.[5]
1945 December 28 Membership Ecuador, Guatemala, and Paraguay become members of the World Bank.[5]
1945 December 29 Membership Iran becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1945 December 31 Membership Chile, Mexico and Peru become members of the World Bank.[5]
1946 January 14 Membership Brazil becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1946 March 11 Membership Uruguay becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1946 March 14 Membership Nicaragua becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1946 March 18 Formation The World Bank and International Monetary Fund Boards of Governors hold inaugural meeting in Savannah, Georgia. The Governors adopt bylaws, elect executive directors, and choose Washington, D.C., as the site for the two new institutions.[6]
1946 March 30 Membership Denmark becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1946 June 18 Key people American financier Eugene Meyer becomes the first World Bank President.[7]
1946 June 25 Formation The World Bank officially begins operations.[1] Staff start their first day of work.[8]
1946 September 27 Origin The World Bank Governors hold their first meeting in Washington, D.C.. Representatives from 38 countries attend the meeting.[9]
1946 December 30 Membership Venezuela becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 February 28 Key people American lawyer John J. McCloy becomes World Bank President.[10]
1947 March 11 Membership Turkey becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 March 27 Membership Italy becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 April 10 Membership Syria becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 April 14 Membership Lebanon becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 Assistance The World Bank grants its first loan to France, for post-war reconstruction.[2]
1947 August 5 Membership Australia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1947 November 15 Formation The United Nations and World Bank formalize relationship. The agreement with the United Nations is initially approved by the World Bank’s Board of Governors in September and then by the United Nations General Assembly. The agreement, which names the Bank as a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines the Bank as an independent organization and outlines its freedom in matters of lending and financial management.[11]
1948 January 14 Membership Finland becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1948 August 27 Membership Austria becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1949 January 16 Program The World Bank launches a training course for staff aimed at junior professional and administrative staff from member countries other than USA and UK. The year-long training consists of courses on the overall operations of the Bank followed by more intensive training in particular departments.[12]
1949 May 3 Membership Thailand becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1949 July 1 Key people Eugene R. Black Sr. becomes World Bank President.[13]
1950 Organization The World Bank founds Aid India Club to provide massive assistance to finance India's developmental plans.[14]
1950 July 11 Membership Pakistan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1950 August 29 Membership Sri Lanka becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1951 August 31 Membership Sweden becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1951 September 30 Assistance Finland and Yugoslavia make first repayments of loans, signed in 1949 for the purpose of increasing the production of timber. The loans are designed as short-term loans and are the result of complicated negotiations between the World Bank, borrowing countries, and Western European nations. The loans aim to, among other objectives, restore East-West trade in Europe.[15]
1952 January 3 Membership Myanmar becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1952 August 13 Membership Japan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1952 August 14 Membership Germany becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1952 October 1 Formation The World Bank implements first reorganization. Prior to it, operations staff were organized along functional lines, with loan officers working separately from country and technical specialists. The new organization arranges staff geographically; each new operational department maintains operational relationships with a particular geographical group of the World Bank’s member countries. A new Department of Technical Operations is responsible for assessing the economic, financial, and technical merits of proposed projects and for following the progress of approved projects.[16]
1953 September 8 Membership Haiti becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1954 July 12 Membership Israel becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1955 Organization The Economic Development Institute is created[17] with the purpose to build country capacity by providing training for officials concerned with programs and projects in developing countries. Initially, courses are general in nature and offered exclusively in Washington, D.C. Over time, more intensive courses on topics such as project preparation and sector planning would be developed and offered outside of the United States.[18]
1955 August 26 Membership South Korea becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1956 Organization The World Bank creates the International Finance Corporation.[19] Its purpose is to stimulate private investments in developing countries.[20]
1956 July 20 Organization The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is created as an affiliate of the World Bank and is designed to further economic development by encouraging the growth of private enterprise. IFC is initially authorized to have a total capital of $100 million but is restricted from involvement in equity financing.[21]
1956 July 24 Key people Robert L. Garner is appointed president of the International Finance Corporation.[22]
1956 September 20 Membership Argentina becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1956 September 21 Membership Vietnam becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1956 December 28 Assistance Indonesia signs Articles of Agreement with the International Finance Corporation.[23]
1957 Assistance The International Finance Corporation makes its first investment of US$2 million in Siemens' Brazilian affiliate, in conjunction with an $8.5 million investment by the affiliate's parent company, Siemens of Germany. The loan is to be used to expand plant facilities for the manufacture of electric generating equipment, switchgear, transformers, large motors, and accessories for utility and industrial application as well as telephone equipment.[24]
1957 August 8 Membership Ireland becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1957 August 26 Membership Saudi Arabia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1958 March 7 Membership Malaysia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1958 April 14 Membership Tunisia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1958 Assistance The World Bank provides Nigeria with its first loan, US$28,000,000 for the construction of a new railway.[25]
1958 Program The World Bank establishes a staff training college to provide training to the senior officials of the member countries. This institution is referred to as Economic Development Institute (EDI) which has a network of several regional institutes. EDI organizes seminars in Washington in collaboration with regional training institutes.[26]
1958 July 14 The World Bank Group signs Suez Canal compensation agreement at the request of Egypt and the United Kingdom. The Bank participates in negotiations for settling claims arising from the expropriation of the Suez Canal Company. The successful resolution of the claim allows for subsequent investment in the Suez Canal Authority by both the World Bank Group and private banks.[27]
1958 September 15 Membership Spain becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1960 Organization The International Development Association (IDA) is founded as a member of the World Bank Group. It provides interest-free long-term loans, technical assistance, and policy advice to low-income developing countries in areas such as health, education, and rural development.[1][19][26]
1961 March 29 Membership Portugal becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1961 March 30 Membership Nigeria becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1961 July 5 Membership Laos becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1961 August 31 Membership New Zealand becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1961 September 18 Membership The Dominican Republic becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1962 June 1 Program The Junior Professionals Recruitment and Development Program is launched by the World Bank Group, with the purpose to attract young, exceptionally bright, and highly educated professionals from all over the world to join its fight against poverty. The program represents a major shift in the Bank Group’s recruitment process, which up until 1962 only included recruitment of mid-career professionals.[28]
1962 August 1 Membership Togo becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1962 August 31 Membership Somalia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1962 September 10 Membership Sierra Leone and Tanzania become members of the World Bank.[5]
1962 September 13 Membership Kuwait becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1963 January 1 Assistance Eighteen newly independent African countries join the World Bank Group. In the following years, lending and technical assistance activities in the continent would increase correspondingly.[29]
1963 Key people American banker George David Woods becomes the 4th President of the World Bank.[30]
1963 Policy The World Bank announces that it would place more emphasis on agricultural development in future.[31]
1963 September 10 Membership Mauritania and Gabon become members of the World Bank.[5]
1963 September 27 Membership Mali and Uganda become members of the World Bank.[5]
1963 March 11 Membership Ivory Coast becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1963 May 2 Membership Burkina Faso becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1963 July 10 Membership Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad and the Republic of the Congo become members of the World Bank.[5]
1963 September 25 Membership Madagascar becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1963 September 26 Membership Algeria becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1963 Membership Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Guinea become members of the World Bank.[5]
1964 February 3 Membership Kenya becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1965 August 17 Indonesia withdraws from the World Bank after more than a decade of membership in the institution during which time the Bank made no loans to the country.[32]
1965 September 23 Membership Zambia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1966 August 3 Membership Singapore becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1966 October 14 Organization The World Bank establishes the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), pursuant to the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States.[33][34]
1967 April 13 Membership Indonesia rejoins the World Bank.[35]
1968 Key people Robert McNamara becomes the fifth president of the World Bank.[36]
1968 July 24 Membership Botswana becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1969 October 3 Membership Yemen becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1970 July 22 Membership Cambodia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1971 Program The World Bank starts undertaking research studies in social and other fields. About 3 percent of its budget is allotted for economic and social research.[26]
1972 Organization The World Bank Group Staff Association is created. Its role is to champion World Bank Group policies that are beneficial to staff, foster a sense of community among staffmembers, and assist staff with conflict resolution. The Staff Association is established through a Bankwide referendum. James Chaffey is subsequently elected the Staff Association's first chairman.[37]
1972 August 10 Formation World Bank Group announces major reorganization, the first since 1952. In response to the institution's rapid growth and expansion of activities a new operational structure is required. Five new regional vice presidencies are established and, in an attempt to more effectively fuse country knowledge and sectoral skills, most of the Bank's operational project work staff are relocated into the new regional units.[38]
1972 August 17 Membership Bangladesh becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1972 September 22 Membership The United Arab Emirates become members of the World Bank.[5]
1972 December 15 Membership Romania becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1973 May 1 The World Bank Group joins efforts to fight onchocerciasis. Together with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Health Organization, the World Bank Group launches the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP). The Bank assumes responsibility for fundraising, donor coordination, and fund administration. The OCP will prove to be one of the Bank's most effective cofinancing operations.[39]
1975 October 9 Membership Papua New Guinea becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1978 August 16 Publication The First World Development Report is published. Today an annual publication authored by staff from across the institution, it provides external audiences with comprehensive assessments of topical global development issues. The first report identifies “a number of fundamental problems confronting the developing countries and explores their relationship to the underlying trends in the international economy.”[40]
1978 November 20 Membership Cabo Verde becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1979 June 30 Financial World Bank Group annual commitments exceed US$10 billion for fiscal year. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development commitments total almost $7 billion, while International Development Association commitments total more than $2.3 billion. The International Finance Corporation makes 48 investments amounting to $425 million.[41]
1980 March 25 The first Structural Adjustment Loan is approved. Structural Adjustment Loans (SALs) reduce the medium-term account deficits of a borrowing country while supporting adjustment programs, which include specific policy changes designed to strengthen a country's balance of payments. Turkey receives the first SAL for $200 million to reduce inflation, increase foreign exchange earnings, and improve domestic resource mobilization in the public and private sectors.[42]
1980 July 1 Organization The World Bank Group establishes an Administrative Tribunal with the purpose to facilitate a judicial review of administrative decisions affecting Bank staff.[43]
1980 September 29 Membership Zimbabwe becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1981 january 1 The phrase “emerging markets” is coined by International Finance Corporation staff member Antoine van Agtmael while promoting a global listed equity investment fund for developing countries. The term would change the financial world's perception of developing countries and define a new asset class.[44]
1981 Key people Alden W. Clausen becomes the sixth President of the World Bank Group.[45]
1982 July 7 Membership Hungary becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1982 September 1 Key people American economist Anne Osborn Krueger becomes World Bank Chief Economist.[46]
1983 The World Bank constitutes the Research Policy Council (RPC) to provide leadership in the guidance, coordination and evaluation of all research work undertaken by the bank.[26]
1984 September 24 Membership Mozambique becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1986 June 27 Membership Poland becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1986 Key people U.S Congressman Barber Conable becomes the seventh President of the World Bank Group.[47]
1987 Policy Amidst a growing awareness that traditional economic activities can sometimes have harmful environmental consequences, The World Bank begins to integrate more systematically environmental concerns into the mainstream of its work.[48]
1988 April 12 Organization An international convention establishes the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is established as the newest member of the World Bank Group. MIGA’s original 29 members are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Grenada, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria , Pakistan, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.[49][50]
1989 September 19 Membership Angola becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1990 September 25 Membership Bulgaria becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1991 Key people Lewis Thompson Preston is selected as the eighth president of the World Bank.[51]
1991 Key people American economist Lawrence Summers is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[52]
1991 October 15 Membership Albania becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1991 December Membership Post-Soviet states join the World Bank Group.[53]
1992 May 29 Membership Switzerland becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 June 16 Membership Russia becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 July 10 Membership Belarus becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 July 23 Membership Khazakhstan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 September 3 Membership Ukraine becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 September 18 Membership Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 September 21 Membership Uzbekistan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1992 September 22 Membership Turkmenistan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1993 January 1 Membership The Czech Republic becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1993 February 25 Membership Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia become members of the World Bank.[5]
1993 Key people Israeli economist Michael Bruno is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.
1993 June 4 Membership Tajikistan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1995 June 1 Key people Australian American lawyer James Wolfensohn becomes the ninth President of the World Bank Group.[54]
1995 July 14 Membership Afghanistan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1995 October 10 Membership Brunei becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
1997 Key people American economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[55]
1999 September 14 Program The World Bank launches the first major global response to HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, helping put in place the foundations of the response: national strategies, a governance structure, and systems for monitoring and evaluation. A multi-sectoral response is promoted by focusing on HIV/AIDS as a development issue and by engaging both local communities and the private sector. The Bank Group is an early participant in the international fight against HIV/AIDS, investing in health projects with HIV/AIDS components as early as 1987 and funding its first freestanding AIDS project in Zaire in 1989.[56][57]
2000 Program The World Bank and partners in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe launch GDLN, [17] today a global partnership of more than 100 learning centers (GDLN Affiliates) that offer the use of advanced information and communication technologies to people working in development around the world.[58]
2000 Key people British economist Nicholas Stern, Baron Stern of Brentford is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[59]
2002 July 23 Membership East Timor become member of the World Bank.[5]
2003 June 7 Service The World Bank Group launches the e-Library, an electronic portal that provides libraries and institutions access to the World Bank Group’s collection of books, reports, and other documents.[60]
2003 October Key people François Bourguignon is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[61]
2005 June 1 Key people American political scientist Paul Dundes Wolfowitz becomes the tenth President of the World Bank Group.[62]
2006 Publication The World Bank Group launches its first international survey on entrepreneurship and economic development.[63]
2007 June 1 Key people American public official Robert Zoellick becomes the eleventh President of the World Bank Group.[64]
2008 June 2 Key people Chinese economist Justin Yifu Lin is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[65]
2009 Program The World Bank launches an urban development initiative called Eco2 Cities: Ecological Cities as Economic Cities (Eco2 Cities Initiative) to help cities in developing countries achieve greater synergistic ecological and economic sustainability.[66]
2010 April 20 Program World Bank Group launches the Open Data Initiative, which initially makes available more than 2,000 sets of statistics to the public. The initiative provides free and open access to data that has previously been restricted to commercial use and was only available to paying users.[67]
2011 Program The World Bank initiates the Partnership for Sustainable Cities, a group of leading urban actors with a mission to collaborate on city development around the world and foster city-led sustainable development.[68]
2012 April 18 Membership South Sudan becomes member of the World Bank.[5]
2012 June Key people Australian economist Martin Ravallion is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[69]
2012 July Key people Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim becomes the twelfth President of the World Bank Group.[70]
2012 October Key people Indian economist Kaushik Basu is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[71]
2013 Policy The World Bank Group adopts two new goals to guide its work: ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.[72]
2015 Program The World Bank teams with Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) to rapidly develop a strategic framework for integrating civil registration and identification systems in client countries, including a comprehensive strategy and implementation roadmap for nations with widely differing levels of technology infrastructure maturity.[73]
2016 October Key people American economist Paul Romer is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[74]
2017 Program The World Bank launches the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), a mechanism to ensure low-income countries can receive timely, predictable and coordinated surge financing when affected by large-scale disease outbreaks.[75]
2018 January Key people Shanta Devarajan is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.
2018 November Key people Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg is appointed World Bank Chief Economist.[76]

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External links

References

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