The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. It was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) by lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income.

In order to provide resources on better terms than those that are available from the World Bank, the IDA provides special “credits.” These credits are zero-interest loans that have longer payment periods of 35 to 40 years and a grace period of 10 years. These types of loans are offered to the poorest countries to help them pursue their development goals, sometimes despite disease and conflict. The IDA has 172 member countries which pay contributions every three years as replenishments of its capital. Membership in the IDA is available only to countries who are members of the World Bank, particularly the IBRD. To be eligible for support from the IDA, countries are assessed by their poverty and their lack of creditworthiness for commercial and IBRD borrowing. The association assesses countries based on their per capita income, lack of access to private capital markets, and policy performance in implementing pro-growth and anti-poverty economic or social reforms.

Editor: Giovanni AVERSA

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