The Asian Development Bank said on Monday that its operations for Asia and the Pacific reached an all-time high of $31.5 billion in 2016, a 17 per cent increase from 26.9 billion dollars in 2015.
The Manila-based bank said approvals of loans, grants, technical assistance, and co-financing 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 needs to be done to achieve development that is both sustainable and inclusive,’ Nakao said.
Nakao said that the region continues to face many challenges such as implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, increasing inequality, rapid urbanisation, aging, and disaster risk management.
For the period 2017-2020, a successful Asian Development Fund replenishment, concluded in May 2016, would allow ADB to substantially increase support to the region’s poorest countries, the bank said.
‘Total disbursements of ADB loans and grants reached 12.5 billion dollars in 2016 - the highest ever. This strong performance is tied to the reforms ADB has implemented to fast track procurement and implementation processes,’ the bank said.
It said co-financing also expanded, reaching 13.9 billion dollars in 2016 from 10.7 billion in 2015, a growth of 29 per cent.
‘Some of the strong partnerships ADB undertook in 2016 include co-financing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for a road project in Pakistan and natural gas project in Bangladesh,’ the bank said.
Agreements were also signed with other development partners including an innovative guarantee agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to increase ADB financing by 500 million dollars over the next 10 years, among others.
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