ADF gets new $3.8 B ADB funding

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Donor countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to replenish for the 11th time the Asian Development Fund (ADF), a financing window for the poorest and most debt-distressed member countries.

The replenishment — totaling $3.8 billion — would provide $3.3 billion of new resources to the ADF, the ADB’s grant window, and $0.5 billion to the Technical Assistance Special Fund.

Donor countries would contribute $2.5 billion to the ADF, while the rest of the replenishment would come from net income transfers from ADB’s ordinary capital resources (over $1 billion), and income from ADF liquidity investments ($0.2 billion). This amount is expected to increase further over the next few months as more donor confirm their pledges.

ADB said the share of non-traditional donor countries for the 11th replenishment has risen to 11.7 percent of the total for the next four years from 6.9 percent during the 2013 to 2016 replenishment period.

Several emerging economies contributing to the newest replenishment of the ADF are Brunei Darussalam, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taipei (China) and Thailand. 

In addition to the $3.3 billion in new resources for the core activities of the ADF, some donors would contribute $150 million for an ADF facility for regional health security, said the Manila-based multilateral lender.

“We highly appreciate our donors’ support. It will allow us to boost our grant operations in the poorest countries, especially fragile and conflict-affected countries,” said ADB president Takehiko Nakao.

“This will help the region achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the COP21 climate change commitments,” he added.

The ADF fund is also targeted at programs that would promote gender equity, food security, private sector development, preparedness for the effects of climate change and impacts of disasters, and cross-border health issues.

ADB said the Asia and Pacific Region has made “large development strides in recent decades” but around 450 million people still live below the poverty line. The poorest and most debt-distressed countries in the region failed to achieve the 2015 international goals for reducing child and maternal mortality, improving sanitation, and strengthening gender equity, among others.

“Adding to these challenges is the ambitious new mandate of the SGDs,” said ADB.

Government, business and civil society leaders are gathering in Frankfurt, Germany for ADB’s 9th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors that is being held until  May 5.

This year’s meeting, with the theme “Cooperating for Sustainability,” would highlight the critical importance of sustainable, inclusive development and the need for closer Asian and European linkages to support it.

“The recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals has highlighted the need for greater sustainability and inclusiveness in global development,” said ADB.

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