The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $22.93 billion in development assistance last year, according to ADB’s 2014 Annual Report, released ahead of its 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors to be held 2–5 May in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The substantial lending volume includes $13.69 billion from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and Special Funds, and a record $9.24 billion from cofinancing partners, according to ADB.
ADB also disbursed more than $10 billion for the first time in 5 years. The improved performance reflected a 17% rise in disbursements from 2013.
The strong performance reflects the Asia and Pacific region’s continued need for development assistance, despite impressive growth and poverty reduction efforts in recent years. ADB estimates that the region requires more than $8 trillion to meet its infrastructure needs from 2010 through to 2020.
The 2014 Annual Report captures ADB in a moment of transition, following a major review of Strategy 2020, its long-term strategic agenda, to make its operations and organization more efficient, effective and better equipped to respond to the evolving needs of developing member countries.
While infrastructure investment will remain the bank’s core operational focus, more resources will be channeled into areas where they are needed most: private sector development, climate change, disaster risk prevention, and social protection. Investments in education and health will also double.
To fund the region’s expanding development needs, the report notes that ADB’s initiative to combine its concessional lending operations with its ordinary capital resources will significantly enhance overall lending capacity. The report also reviews ADB’s operations, projects, internal administration, and financial management.
Significant achievements in 2014 include:
Investments of $2.4 billion in clean energy, the fourth year in a row that ADB has provided more than $2 billion to the sector.
Mobilization of $3.2 billion in funding to address climate change.
Approval of 25 private sector projects worth more than $1.9 billion.
Investments of $3.4 billion to support regional cooperation and integration.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.