India was the World Bank's favourite last fiscal when it came to extending financial aid in the form of loans, both among developing countries and the world's poorest nations.
The World Bank, through its lending arms IBRD and IDA, committed USD 9.3 billion in financial assistance to India in the 2009-10 fiscal, more than the aid committed by the US and the European Union.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) committed USD 6.7 billion, or 15.1 per cent of its total lending in the fiscal, to India, according to government officials. In comparison, the second highest recipient, Mexico, got USD 6.4 billion.
Next in line were South Africa (USD 3.8 billion), Brazil (USD 3.7 billion) and Turkey (USD 3.0 billion). IBRD serves middle-income countries with investment and advisory services.
The World Bank's concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), which helps the world's poorest countries, committed 17.7 per cent of its total aid, amounting to USD 2.6 billion, to India in 2009-10.
In contrast, the IDA committed USD 1.4 billion to Vietnam and USD 0.9 billion each to Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
It aims to reduce poverty by providing interest-free credit and grants for programmes that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities and improve people's living conditions.
Even in terms of actual disbursement, India was the largest recipient of World Bank financial assistance last fiscal, with a total of USD 4.7 billion -- IBRD (3.4 billion) and IDA (1.3 billion) -- being released, officials informed.
The country was also the largest recipient of assistance from other external funding agencies like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).
While IFAD is a specialised agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, DFID is the part of the UK government that manages Britain's aid to poor countries and works to get rid of extreme poverty.
India was also the largest recipient of loans from Germany's state-owned development bank KfW Group and Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) last fiscal.
However, the country was only the third largest recipient of external assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
It was also the second largest recipient of loans from the European Union in Asia. In terms of the total amount of aid given by the US in the fiscal, India stood at 27th in the list of countries.