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The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Established in 1960, IDA aims to reduce poverty
by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions.
IDA complements the World Bank’s original lending arm—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). IBRD was established to function as
a self-sustaining business, and provides loans and advice to middle-income and credit-worthy countries. IBRD and IDA share the same staff and headquarters and evaluate
projects with the same rigorous standards.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa, and is the single largest source of donor funds for basic
social services in these countries.
IDA lends money on concessional terms. This means that IDA credits have a zero or very low interest charge. Recipients with a high risk of debt distress receive 100
percent of their financial assistance in the form of grants and those with a medium risk of debt distress receive 50 percent in the form of grants. Other recipients receive IDA
credits on regular or blend terms with 38-year and 30- year maturities respectively.
In addition to concessional loans and grants, IDA provides significant levels of debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the
Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, IDA commitments totaled $22 billion, of which 36 percent was provided on grant terms. New commitments in fiscal year 2019
comprised 254 new operations. Since 1960, IDA has provided $375 billion for investments in 113 countries.
Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $22 billion over the last three years.
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