U.K. Outspends U.S. at World Bank

BERLIN -- The United States lost its status as the largest donor to the World Bank's main fund for poor countries, the lender said Friday, as Britain pledged more in the latest funding round that secured a record amount of aid.

Losing its position as the top donor could weaken Washington's influence over the World Bank, which is the largest provider of development assistance to poor countries, and over the policies that decide how its cash is spent.

The Washington-based lender conducts a fund-raising campaign among its richer members every three years to determine funding for the International Development Association. The IDA is the bank's lending arm.

After negotiations that began in March in Paris and ended with two days of talks in Berlin, Britain promised $4.2 billion for the period from July 2008 through June 2011, Robert Zoellick, the World Bank's president, told reporters in a conference call.