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The World Bank has developed a remarkably effective fundraising model over many decades in the form of triennial replenishments of the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the bank that provides grants and highly concessional loans to the world’s poorest countries. IDA has raised $225 billion in donor grant funding since it was founded in 1960. The just-concluded 17th replenishment (IDA-17) resulted in another $52 billion amassed for IDA’s work in low-income countries.
But even as IDA appears to be at the peak of its fundraising prowess, some threats to the model require fundamental thinking by the World Bank and its member countries about the future of fundraising for the bank as a whole. The World Bank should declare the IDA-17 replenishment its last and move to replace it with a broader bank resource review. Sticking with the status quo risks an underfunded institution and one that is increasingly isolated from its shareholders.