Established in 1944, the World Bank is not a bank in the common sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. It is comprised by two development institutions managed by 187 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses on the world's poorest countries.
The work of the two institutions is complemented by that of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Together they provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture and environmental and natural resource management.
Since Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992, Bank commitments to the country total about USD 7 billion for 39 projects and programs.
The mission of the World Bank is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people to help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.
In 1999, the Bank began the process of close collaboration with the Government of Ukraine on the preparation of the TB and HIV/AIDS Control Project to be financed by a World Bank loan of US$60 million. The World Bank was well-placed to support this operation given its extensive involvement world-wide in HIV/AIDS issues and given the urgent needs in Ukraine in this area.
The project was an integral part of the financial year 2001-2003 Country Assistance Strategy for Ukraine focused on a broad-based poverty reduction strategy with an emphasis on helping civil society to increase its voice for better government and social service provision in globally sensitive areas.
Currently, the World Bank’s main ongoing activity related to AIDS response in Ukraine is the study “Improve Implementation – for an Effective Response to the AIDS Epidemic in Ukraine”. The World Bank is also very much involved in the process of health sector reforms in the country, and actively contributing on several dimensions of these reforms, but particularly in the areas of primary care development, health financing reforms and restructuring of the hospital sector.