India was the World Bank's favourite last financial year 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 $9.3 billion in financial assistance to India in 2009-10, more than the aid committed by the US and the European Union.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) committed $6.7 billion, or 15.1 per cent of its total lending in the financial year, to India, according to government officials. In comparison, the second highest recipient, Mexico, got $6.4 billion.
Next in line were South Africa ($3.8 billion), Brazil ($3.7 billion) and Turkey ($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 $2.6 billion, to India in 2009-10.
In contrast, the IDA committed $1.4 billion to Vietnam and $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 financial year, with a total of $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 and the UK's Department for International Development.