Capital boosts for World Bank and AfDB

May 04, 2010

The World Bank is to see its capital boosted by over $86 billion (€65 billion) following a decision by the 186 countries that own the World Bank Group.

This is the first time in 20 years that the bank has raised its general capital and the voting powers of member states have also changed, giving developing nations more of an influence over proceedings. It comes shortly after the African Development Bank (AfDB) revealed its shareholders have endorsed a move that brings the bank's capital resources to almost $100 billion. In a statement, the AfDB said the money will be used to provide higher lending following "overwhelming" demand in African nations.

World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said it is "grateful" for the vote of confidence that has been shown by shareholding nations. "This extra capital can be deployed to create jobs and protect the most vulnerable," he remarked, noting the funding will be used to improve infrastructure and conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries.