Friday, May 4, 2012
Philippines - ADB Secures US$12 Billion To Help Asia’s Poorest
The Asian Development Bank has secured US$12.4 billion for the next four years to fight poverty in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has secured US$12.4 billion for the next four-year phase of its concessional development fund to fight poverty in the Asia-Pacific region.
The contributions to the Asian Development Fund (ADF), which will cover ADB operations from 2013 to 2016, represent an increase of 11.1 percent in Special Drawing Rights (9.5 percent in U.S. dollars) from the fund’s previous four-year period.
“ADF borrowers face significant development challenges, and have fewer resources of their own to address them. We particularly appreciate the strong support and generosity of our donor countries in view of the difficult challenges many are facing at home themselves,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.
The ADF goals are to help improve the lives of millions of Asia’s poorest through inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth, including improved access to education, social safety nets, and the development of clean and renewable energy.
They will also seek to narrow the development gaps and rising income inequality, and help vulnerable countries cope with shocks such as rising food and fuel prices, natural disasters and conflict.
Funds will also be provided to help promote gender mainstreaming, good governance, food security, private sector development, and stronger regional cooperation. Countries affected by conflict and smaller island states with fragile economies will be given special attention.
Donors have also agreed to establish a Disaster Response Facility under ADF on a pilot basis to support the poorest countries in responding to natural disasters. Projects over the next four-year period include the upgrading of 16,000 kilometers of road and school improvement programs for more than 2.5 million students.
One of the largest recipients of ADF resources is Bangladesh, who was one of six ADF recipient countries who participated in the negotiations.
“ADF support will go a long way in helping countries like Bangladesh provide critically needed social services to our citizens,” said Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. “We will redouble our efforts to deliver results and bring better opportunities and a brighter future to our people, especially to the poorest communities.”