The global economic crisis that began in 2008 threatened to erase years of progress in developing countries. In response, the World Bank Group (World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) increased lending to unprecedented levels. But Increases in financing volume must be matched by quality to achieve sustained economic results. Quality-at-entry indicators have generally been positive. But certain areas—the financial sector specifically and results on the ground more generally—are a cause for concern, particularly given continued tight budgets.

This IEG study is a real- time assessment of ongoing activities. As such, it evaluates the immediate results and serves as an input to the WBG's continuing efforts to address the effects of the crisis. The evaluation of the development impact of WBG's response will be taken up at a later stage.