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International financial institutions

Their significant global and regional reach and technical expertise make the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank important partners for Ireland in achieving our development objectives. 

Constituent bodies of the World Bank Group

International financial institutions and development

International financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank provide significant financial and technical support for developing countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Our longstanding membership and contribution to the World Bank and our more recent membership of the Asian Development Bank enable Ireland to have a wider global and regional reach and influence policies that benefit poor people and poor communities in developing countries.

Ireland and the World Bank

The World Bank was established in 1944 to provide finance to rebuild the economies of countries that were devastated during World War II. Today, the World Bank plays a key role in providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. 

Ireland joined the World Bank in 1957. The Department of Finance leads our relations with the World Bank, with policy and programming input provided by Irish Aid. Our Minister for Finance sits on the Board of Governors, the highest decision-making body within the World Bank.  

Irish Aid actively engages with the World Bank on policy and programme issues both at headquarters and at programme country level.

In 2015, the Department of Finance contributed €20.6 million to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

Ireland’s support and engagement with the World Bank centres on:

Targeting the poor and vulnerable, especially in sub-Saharan Africa

Ireland has a particular focus on countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are supported by the Bank. We promote polices to take account of the needs of poor people, men and women, in these countries. 

We work directly with the Bank at partner country level and provide funds to a variety of trust funds managed by the Bank, which are used to support development activities in country programmes such as the Safety Nets Programme in Ethiopia.

Creating opportunities for growth

Irish Aid, with other partners, works with the Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC ) in its work to improve the business environment for investment.

Fragile and conflict-affected states in Africa

We also support the IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa (CASA) Initiative, which helps design and implement integrated strategies targeted to support economic recovery and growth in seven sub-Saharan African countries including Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Promoting global collective action on hunger education and health

Through World Bank-managed trust funds, we support specific global initiatives such as the Global Education Fund and the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS.

Ireland and the Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank, based in Manila. It aims to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people through loans, technical assistance, grants, advice, and knowledge. It uses three complementary strategies to achieve its aims:

  • Inclusive growth
  • Environmentally sustainable growth
  • Regional integration

The ADB's main partners are governments, the private sector, non-government organisations, development agencies, community-based organisations, and foundations.

Ireland joined the Asian Development Bank in 2006 and we are the ninth largest shareholder among its non-regional members. The Department of Finance is the lead department in Ireland’s relations with the ADB but Irish Aid provides policy input, especially in relation to Vietnam and Timor Leste. In 2015, Ireland provided €7 million to the ADB. 

Learn more about international financial institutions

Visit the World Bank website or the Asian Development Bank website