What We Do

The International Development Association (IDA) is a multi-issue institution, supporting a range of development activities, such as primary education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate improvements, infrastructure, and institutional reforms. These interventions pave the way toward equality, economic growth, job creation, higher incomes, and better living conditions. For the period July 1, 2014–June 30, 2017 (IDA17), IDA operations are placing a special emphasis on four thematic areas: climate change, fragile and conflict-affected countries, gender equality, and inclusive growth.

IDA17 financing is expected to provide, among other things, electricity for an estimated 15-20 million people, life-saving vaccines for 227 million children, microfinance loans for more than 1 million women, and basic health services for 65 million people. Some 64 million people will benefit from access to clean water and another 5.6 million from better sanitation facilities.

Many of the issues developing countries face do not respect borders. By helping address these problems, IDA works to mitigate security, environmental and health concerns, and prevents these threats from becoming global issues.

For contributing partners, IDA provides an efficient channel for directing development assistance to the poorest countries. Because contributions to IDA are pooled together with repayments from former and current IDA recipients, IDA provides a substantial and stable source of funding that IDA countries can rely on to fund their development priorities.

IDA is also a key partner during crises and emergencies through tools like its Crisis Response Window (CRW). The CRW supported countries undergoing severe crises, such as Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak, and Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. Since its introduction in IDA16, the CRW has provided $1.8 billion to respond to crises and emergencies in 18 IDA countries across five regions.

IDA’s operational work is complemented by analytical studies that support the design of policies to reduce poverty. IDA advises governments on ways to broaden the base of economic growth and protect the poor from economic shocks.

IDA also coordinates donor assistance to provide relief for poor countries that cannot manage their debt-service burden, and has a system for allocating grants based on countries’ risk of debt distress, designed to help countries ensure debt sustainability.

IDA places a premium on development impact and is regarded as a transparent, cost-effective platform for achieving results. (Read about results measurement below.) For example, from fiscal years 2011- 16, IDA financing immunized 227 million children; provided access to better water services for 64 million people; and recruited and/or trained more than 7 million teachers.