The World Bank is the most important source for funding projects and
investments related to Cultural heritage. It operates through branches in each continent, and always adopts an approach based upon the respect of the specific characteristics of each recipient Country. From its early years, the Bank has always incorporated heritage in its actions, although at the beginning it was a part of wider projects not specifically aimed at protecting or promoting culture. After the introduction of the environmental assessment in the Eighties, and of the assessment of social impact (and a few important international conferences) in the Nineties, action has focused upon the links between culture and growth, within the main Bank's goal: poverty reduction. The paper describes the tools used and the procedures for elaborating, implementing and evaluating any project. Presently, despite uncertainty about future programs the Bank can rely upon a very skilled and motivated staff for its actions in the Cultural realm.