By Chino S. Leyco
Total assistance released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jumped last year after the Manila-based lender boosted its support in helping Asia and the Pacific countries cope with the challenges and opportunities.
In a statement, the multi-lateral institution said yesterday that its total assistance last year, like loans, grants, technical aid, and co-financing, reached $35.82 billion, higher by 12.5 percent compared with $31.89 billion in the previous year.
Of the total, new commitments amounted to $21.58 billion last year, up by 9.5 percent from $19.7 billion.
Private sector operations, meanwhile, reached $3.14 billion last year, a 37 percent increase compared with the previous year.
ADB said the growth in private operations reflect the bank’s long-term strategy to increase support for private enterprise “to create more high-quality jobs and to mobilize private financial resource for development.”
ADB also mobilized $14 billion in co-financing from bilateral and multilateral agencies and other financing partners.
Disbursements, a key indicator for successful project implementation, also improved by 24 percent to $14.19 billion last year.
“As our region continues to develop and transform, so too must ADB,” Takehiko Nakao, ADB president said. “We set out clear corporate targets to significantly increase operations, to build climate and disaster resilience, address gender equality, and mobilize long-term private financing.”
ADB, likewise, continued to provide climate financing with $3.6 billion in approved loans, putting the bank on target to double its annual climate financing to $6 billion in approvals by 2020.
“ADB also made significant progress in designing projects with a gender focus. In 2018, 47 percent of ADB’s support, on a three-year-average term, included elements that directly improved the lives of women and girls in the region,” the bank said.