Manila [The Philippines], April 27 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed a record 31.6 billion dollars in 2020 to help Asia and the Pacific swiftly tackle the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak; support a green, sustainable recovery from the pandemic; and address longer-term development challenges.
ADB's Annual Report 2020 released on Tuesday sets out the bank's operational and financial results for 2020 as it supported its developing member countries (DMCs) through a year of unprecedented challenges.
"ADB's assistance is bolstering health systems, protecting vulnerable groups, supporting small businesses, and laying the path for recovery," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. "Looking ahead, as we support the region in its recovery from the pandemic, we will ensure that our DMCs rebuild smartly and sustainably."
The 31.6 billion dollars ADB committed from its own resources in 2020 was 32 per cent higher than 2019's 24 billion dollars. These figures comprise loans and guarantees -- including short-term trade finance, supply chain finance, and microfinance -- grants, equity investments and technical assistance both to governments and to the private sector.
Just over half of ADB's 2020 commitments, 16.1 billion dollars, was targeted for pandemic response, and the rest was for helping DMCs to address the long-term development agenda like advancing gender equality, tackling climate change and investing in quality infrastructure.
ADB's 16.1 billion dollar pandemic response in 2020 through a 20 billion dollar package announced in April 2020 was provided in various ways, most notably via a new COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option which had provided quick-disbursing fiscal support to 26 countries by the end of the year.
Out of the 16.1 billion dollars, 2.9 billion dollars was for the private sector which included direct support to companies as well as through trade and supply chain finance to keep trade networks functioning.
In December 2020, ADB also launched a 9 billion dollar facility to support access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and their equitable and efficient delivery.
While delivering tailored and speedy support to its DMCs to help respond to the extraordinary needs created by the pandemic, ADB also maintained its focus on the goals of its long-term strategy, Strategy 2030, which addresses core development challenges.
For example, ADB remains on track to achieve its 2030 target of promoting gender equality in at least 75 per cent of its operations by number.
To fund these record commitments, ADB implemented the largest borrowing programme in its history -- raising 35.8 billion dollars, including through local currency bonds and green, gender, health and water bonds.
The bank also mobilised record co-financing of 16.4 billion dollars which included 10.8 billion dollars for COVID-19 response from peer international organisations and private financial institutions.
To support informed policymaking, ADB rapidly facilitated the sharing of lessons across its members and accelerated its analytical work.
It launched major knowledge resources such as a supply chain mapping tool to help unblock medical supplies and a COVID-19 policy database to support impact assessments and learning, including on green recovery initiatives. (ANI)