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United Nations (UN) specialized agency affiliated with but legally separate from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank). Founded in 1956 to stimulate the economic development of its members by providing capital for private enterprises, the IFC has targeted its aid toward less-developed countries and has been their largest multilateral source of private-sector equity financing and loans. The IFC is headed by a president, who also serves as president of the World Bank; governors and executive directors of the World Bank also serve at the IFC, though it has its own operational and legal staff. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its original membership of 31 had grown to about 175 by the beginning of the 21st century.