The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes. The World Bank has a stated goal of reducing poverty. By law, all of its decisions must be guided by a commitment to promote foreign investment, international trade and facilitate capital investment.
The World Bank differs from the World Bank Group, in that the World Bank comprises only two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), whereas the latter incorporates these two in addition to three more: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the intergovernmental organization that oversees the global financial system by following the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rate and the balance of payments. It is an organization formed with a stated objective of stabilizing international exchange rates and facilitating development through the enforcement of liberalising economic policies on other countries as a condition for loans, restructuring or aid. It also offers loans with varying levels of conditionality, mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., United States. The IMF’s relatively high influence in world affairs and development has drawn heavy criticism from some sources.