The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are two sister institutions created in 1944 by the Bretton Woods Agreements. The Fund was established to support the international financial system, granting conditional credits to countries experiencing temporary difficulties with their balance of payments.
The World Bank, meanwhile, by financing investment projects vital to the development of poor countries on very advantageous terms, is at the forefront of global efforts to end extreme poverty, promote shared prosperity, and foster sustainable development. The two institutions meet periodically to raise awareness and increase engagement with these issues, as well as to guide their respective agendas accordingly. Their Annual and Spring Meetings are the most significant.
On March 2, 2020, shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic, the IMF’s chief operating officer, Kristalina Georgieva, and the World Bank’s president, David Malpass, issued a joint statement. It indicated that the two institutions are ready to help member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge of Covid-19, that they are actively collaborating with international institutions and authorities in each country, and that they are paying particular attention to poor countries where health systems are weakest, populations are most vulnerable, and fewer resources are available to address these challenges.