The World Bank was established in 1944 as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and since then, its role has evolved and broadened to become one of the core institutions of international finance. Originally, the Bank was the single post-war institution promoting reconstruction and development. Now, the World Bank is an association of four developmental institutions: the International Development Association (IDA), the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). IBRD’s main goal is to alleviate global poverty. Given the devastation after World War II, the establishment of the organization and its ultimate objective was hardly controversial. On 9 May 1947, the IBRD approved its first loan for a sum of USD 250 million to France for reconstruction. Loans to Denmark and other European countries soon followed. Rather than resolutions, this committee will develop and approve loan requests concerning how to properly invest in the future of the Iraqi economy or how to invest in public health initiatives for India.
Topic A: Increasing Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion for Women in Albania
Women make up 50% of the population of Albania but are significantly absent from the country’s private sector. Only 28.5% of all enterprises in the country are owned or managed by women and over 43% of all companies lack even one woman on their board of directors. Over the last decade, Albania has made successful strides toward bridging the gender inequality gap in various sectors of society, such as including women in political decision-making, reducing gender-based violence, and decreasing domestic violence. As Albania furthers its accession desires to become a member of the EU, it seeks to continue the reform required by the European Union. Further integrating women into the private sector would not only provide new sources of economic growth, but also a mechanism for women to support themselves. While the EU may see immense progress which qualifies Albania for accession talks, other states still believe Albania falters in numerous sectors and still need major reform. Introducing microcredit programs, facilitating the creation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and increasing the integration of women into Albanian society would both diversify businesses, and illustrate the positive effects women can have in the Albanian economy. This would set a precedent for other countries in the region too, as well as bring massive benefits to Albanian citizens.
Topic B: Encouraging Investment and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
The reduction of poverty and stimulation of growth underscore the twin flagship goals of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). According to the World Bank, creating more productive work for poorer individuals reduces the propensity towards income inequality and poverty. Therefore, creating more productive work through cultivating entrepreneurship and investment in local communities is crucial for the growth of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), which are indispensable institutions for reducing income inequality in the Nigerian economy. Historically, Nigeria has faced many obstacles with respect to investment and entrepreneurship, such as lack of capital, financial security, financial inclusion, and economic stability. In addition, Nigeria’s population growth rate of 2.6% surpasses the capacity of employment creation, resulting in an overall unemployment rate of about 23% and a youth unemployment rate of 36.5% in 2018, which is only projected to rise. The scope of the entrepreneurship and investment needed to tackle these intrinsic issues is multidimensional; governments implement public policy for the regulation of SMEs, financial institutions provide necessary financial instruments to kickstart SMEs, and individual consumers indirectly determine the growth of SMEs through consumption of products. Incentivizing strategic investment and innovative entrepreneurship is pivotal in stimulating the equitable growth of the Nigerian economy on the national as well as the individual level.