Difference Between IMF and World Bank

The difference between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) lies in the objectives that both institutions pursue. Although they have complementary missions, they are two different and independent multilateral organizations.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are two multilateral organizations that were born after the Bretton Woods Agreements , in 1944. It was a historic meeting since the rules for commercial and financial relations between the most industrialized countries of the world were established. This, due to the need to achieve peace after the First World War .

In the same way, to guarantee the proper functioning of a globalized economy , the dollar was established as the world's reference currency and, in 1946, the two organizations that we differentiate in this article began to function.

But do you know the difference between the IMF and the World Bank? Although these are institutions with many similarities, they also present numerous differences that we must point out. Well, although both were born in the same year, their objectives already present notable differences.

Thus, the International Monetary Fund was born to guarantee the stability of the international monetary system . While, on the other hand, we have the World Bank which, among its actions, is responsible for providing financing or financing , policy advice and assistance to governments of those territories or economies that are developing.

However, these organizations carry out more actions. So let's see what they are!

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund or IMF is a multilateral organization that was born in 1946. It integrates 190 countries around the world. Its headquarters is established in Washington DC. And it employs more than 2,700 people from all over the planet.

The main function carried out by the IMF is to guarantee the stability of the international monetary system. In other words, it sets up an international payment system that allows citizens around the globe to transact with each other.

Among other actions carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it is worth highlighting the promotion of international monetary cooperation. And this, while guaranteeing financial stability, promoting free international trade, promoting economic growth and reducing poverty by promoting employment.

Finally, to comply with all this, the IMF is working on granting loans, which try to alleviate the bad economic situation. In this sense, solving problems such as balance of payments, as well as providing help to its members. For this reason, it is also in charge of following the different economies of the member countries.

Ultimately, it should be noted that to be a member of the World Bank, you must have previously been a member of the IMF.

The World Bank

The World Bank, like the IMF, is another multilateral organization that was born after the Bretton Woods meeting, that is, in 1944, although it was not until 1946 that it began its activity. This organization is based in the city of Washington DC and has 189 member countries; a figure very similar to that recorded by the IMF.

Finally, the World Bank has more than 130 offices spread throughout the world. This, at the same time as it has numerous projects and more than 5,000 professionals who work as consultants for the organization.

The main function carried out by the World Bank is to provide financing and advice, promoting the development of economies that are underdeveloped or in the process of developing.

Among other actions, those carried out by the agencies dependent on the World Bank stand out. It is responsible for, among other things, reducing poverty , combating unemployment , promoting sustainable development, increasing prosperity and opportunity, fostering the private sector , as well as many others.

The World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the most important sources of finance and knowledge for developing countries.

However, the fact that we have called it a “group” is due to the fact that said body, in turn, is made up of five institutions that have committed themselves to the same objectives pursued by the IMF.

Among these, the following stand out:

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) : Promotes poverty reduction. To be able to be a member of another organization dependent on the IMF, we must first be members of it.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC): Promotes economic growth and development through aid offered to the respective private sectors. In this sense, granting loans, among other matters.
  • International Development Association (IDA): Promotes and encourages reforms and investments aimed at promoting increased productivity and employment.
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): In addition to granting guarantees to lenders and investors, it conducts research while disseminating content.
  • International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): Promotes foreign investment in developing countries.
  • Trust Funds in the World Bank: These funds serve to complement all the previous tasks, with specific actions.