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The World Bank's response to the global downturn and recent food/fuel shocks

Working papers

Written by Isabella Massa

This background paper discusses the response from the World Bank Group (WB) to the recent global crises, paying special attention to low income countries (LICs) and the responsiveness and adaptability of the WB. Most shock facilities are available to both LICs and MICs (middle income countries) and an exact distinction is not straightforward. This note does not evaluate the planned and implemented programmes of the WB in response to the crises, but instead offer a concise summary of their activities.

The paper focuses on four of the five institutions of the World Bank Group: IDA; IBRD; IFC; MIGA. ICSID is not discussed in this note because it does not appear to have created targeted facilitates or programmes specially for the recent crisis.

The mission of the WB is to fight global poverty and in accordance with this, and in response to the recent global shocks, the WB have expanded and launched a number of facilities and programmes to support LIC and MIC countries. The facilities relate to three priority areas: safety net programmes to protect the most vulnerable; maintaining investments in infrastructure; support for small and mediumsize enterprises and microfinance.

Isabella Massa and Heidi Tavakoli