Emerging nations' growth to slow
The bank has called for fresh credit for developing nations
The World Bank says the economies of developing countries are expected to grow by just 1.2% this year, compared with 5.9% in 2008 and 8.1% in 2007.
And if China and India are excluded, gross domestic product in developing countries is projected to fall by 1.6%.
Its annual Global Development Finance report warns of possible joblessness and poverty in developing nations.
It also forecast the global economy as a whole would shrink by 2.9% this year, against an earlier prediction of 3%.
The report says that economic policies have to "focus rapidly on financial sector reform and support for the poorest countries".
In addition, the bank warns that the flow of money into the developing world is likely to halve this year.
World Bank figures show developing countries' net private capital inflows fell from $1.2tn (£728bn) in 2008 to $707bn last year.
And according to the bank the inflow into poorest countries this year may be just $363bn.
The bank urged rich countries to boost the flow of credit to developing nations to help speed up economic recovery.
Justin Lin, the World Bank's chief economist, said: "Developing countries can become a key driving force in the recovery, assuming their domestic investments rebound with international support, including a resumption in the flow of international credit."
The weakness in the developing countries after recent years of growth also heightens the risks of social unrest, the 185-nation institution said.
Despite the gloomy picture for this year the bank says that growth in developing countries, led by India and China, could reach 4.4% in 2010 and 5.7% by 2011.