The Asian Development Bank (Source: tribune.com.pk)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations for Asia and the Pacific reached an all-time high of 31.5 billion USD in 2016, a 17 percent increase from 26.9 billion USD in 2015, according to preliminary figures released on January 9. 

Approvals of ADB loans, grants, technical assistance, and cofinancing have been growing steadily over the years as development needs in the region continue to rise.

“The increase in our development financing to Asia and the Pacific is reflective of our strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving people’s lives in the region,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.  

“Asia is growing at a steady pace, but more need to be done to achieve development that is both sustainable and inclusive,” he added.

The report also pointed out challenges the region faces such as the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, increasing inequality, rapid urbanisation, aging population, and disaster risk management. 

Total disbursements of ADB loans and grants reached 12.5 billion USD in 2016 — the highest ever. This strong performance is tied to the reforms ADB has implemented to fast track procurement and implementation processes.

Some of the strong partnerships ADB undertook in 2016 included cofinancing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for a railway project in Pakistan and a natural gas project in Bangladesh. 

Recently, ADB and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) signed an innovative guarantee agreement to increase ADB financing by 500 million USD over the next 10 years.

ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, the bank is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It has 67 members, with 48 from the region.-VNA