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January 13, 2018



ADB’s disbursal reaches $28.9bln in 2017

KARACHI: Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) loans, grants, technical assistance and cofinancing for Asia and Pacific reached $28.9 billion in 2017.

“Approvals of loans and grants from ADB’s own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, representing a nine percent increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016,” ADB’s statement said on Friday. “This puts ADB well on its way to meet its $20 billion target by 2020.”

Of the total, nonsovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, a 26 percent increase from $2.5 billion in 2016. Technical assistance, meanwhile, increased around 22 percent to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.

Commitments reached $20.1 billion, which is a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.

“The strong figures for ADB operations in the past year were supported by the successful merger of ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet—which took effect at the start of 2017,” the ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in the statement. “This will allow us to deliver a much higher level of assistance to our developing member countries for years to come without seeking a capital increase.”

ADB’s climate financing reached a record $4.5 billion (comprising mitigation $3.6 billion and adaptation $0.9 billion) in 2017, a 21 percent increase from 2016.

“This puts ADB in a good position to achieve its $6 billion climate financing target by 2020,” the statement added.

Cofinancing approvals declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to the delay of large expected cofinanced projects. Disbursements were $11.7 billion in 2017, compared to $12.7 billion in 2016 because of lower approvals, and hence disbursements, of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.

Among ADB’s other operational highlights were projects that combine finance with innovative approaches to development, including satellite data and remote sensing to improve irrigation in Indonesia and Pakistan, pilot testing of climate-smart agriculture practices in Bangladesh, and supporting social welfare reforms in Mongolia to promote human development.

“An innovative $100 million technical assistance loan to the Philippines, approved in October 2017, will help the government prepare and deliver infrastructure projects under its ‘Build Build Build’ program,” the statement said.

ADB launched three high-impact publications in 2017. ‘Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs’ estimated Asia and the Pacific’s annual infrastructure needs at $1.7 trillion per year until 2030.

‘A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific’ put forward scenarios of the devastating effects of climate change. The ADB history book, ‘Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific’ focused on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB over 50 years.

To scale up the bank’s operations with quality, the ADB Board approved the 2018 budget totaling $672.3 million, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2017, comprising 2.2 percent price growth and 1.7 percent volume growth. This budget supports the ongoing investments in IT reforms and organisational resilience. ADB continues to make its utmost efforts at staff optimisation and efficiency measures.

“A key priority for ADB in 2018 is to finalise its new corporate strategy, Strategy 2030. ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting of its board of governors will be held in Manila again in May after 6 years,” the statement said.

“Strategy 2030, the impact of technological change and globalisation on jobs, aging and longevity dividends, role of women entrepreneurs, and private sector participation in infrastructure development will be among the topics discussed.” Manila-based ADB expects more than 3,000 participants to attend the meeting.