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In the past 15 years the world has experienced one of the most volatile periods in financial history. An international debt crisis, high and variable inflation and real interest rates, and banking crises in numerous countries created costly financial problems throughout the world and particularly in developing countries. Like other multilateral financial institutions, the World Bank has been effected by changes in the global financial environment and has had to innovate its financial operations to adjust.

This study evaluates the result of a series of reforms supported by the Bank and presents the Bank's changing perspective over the past decade (FY85-FY96) as it adjusted to the mutable conditions from one of short-term fixes in the financial sector to a more long-term view.