The fundamental role of the Bank has undergone various conflicting opinions. Some of the shareholding countries borrow from it while others may provide fund. It is a financial intermediary working for the advancement of the national interest of the countries. The project brings forth the role of World Bank towards the international public policy management in the present scenario. It includes conflict prevention and changing international environment, fighting poverty, the health and food provisions for the poor countries, monitoring various socio-economic conditions, helping for improving global trading, project structuring and its monitoring and much more.
World Bank has various international public policies and instruments which are used for the betterment of various countries especially in the conflict affected countries. It works at different levels according to the different phases of conflicts, analyzing them and implementing those into strategies and programs. One of the special measures taken is for poverty reduction and other for the Low-Income Countries Under Stress (LICUS). For the implementation of these policies and instruments the Bank has started for the Watching Brief where normal Bank assistance will not be possible; e.g. Haiti, Somalia, Sudan. It would allow the Bank to maintain minimum level of engagement, to monitor evolving socioeconomic conditions as well as the prospects to change. This would allow the Bank to re-engage with additional activities whenever needed or asked by the countries. (AEA, 2004)1
Another policy adopted by World Bank is the Transitional Support Strategy (TSS). It is a short to medium term Bank assistance strategy for the countries that do not have Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) or the ones that are not still ready for CAS e.g.: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste while in transition from conflict. The main objective of this policy is peace and recovery along with the needed assistance. With the stages of Watching Brief and TSS the World Bank would be able to assist even under full fledged CAS. These three levels of engagement are set out in OP/BP 2.30 and provide enough flexibility to the Bank for its involvement and assistance. CPR unit has also developed a Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF) to help Bank analyze more systematically while preparing policies, strategies and programs (CPR 2002e).2
World Bank also takes initiatives in project design and its implementation in developing countries. For Example in the recent project assessment for Sri Lanka the lack of sensitivity to any conflict may also constrain World Bank's interventions (World Bank 2003b)3.
World Bank and IMF are the world's largest public lenders and help avoiding Great Depression-like economic disasters. But this help comes with strings attached in the form of policy perceptions as "structural adjustment policies". It means across the country privatization of public utilities and publicly owned industries. It focuses resources on growing export crops for industrial countries than supporting family farms for local communities. This has led to serious problems of inequality and environmental destruction in Latin America, Africa and Asia. (WBIMF, 2007) 4