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ADB disbursed $28.9b loans, grants in 2017

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13th-Jan-2018       
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Economic Reporter :
Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations comprising approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance (TA), and co-financing has reached $28.9 billion in 2017.
ADB with continued efforts to help meet Asia and the Pacific's development needs, according to preliminary figures released on Friday.
According to ADB press release on Friday approvals of loans and grants from ADB's own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, representing a 9% increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016.
A highlight of ADB's operational figures for 2017 is climate financing, which reached a record $4.5 billion (comprising mitigation $3.6 billion and adaptation $0.9 billion), a 21% increase from 2016. This puts ADB in a good position to achieve its $6 billion climate financing target by 2020.
Co-financing approvals declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to the delay of large expected co-financed projects. Disbursements were $11.7 billion in 2017, compared to $12.7 billion in 2016. This is because of lower approvals, and hence disbursements, of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.
A key priority for ADB in 2018 is to finalize its new corporate strategy, Strategy 2030. ADB's 51st Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors will be held in Manila again in May 2018 after 6 years. ADB expects more than 3,000 participants to attend the meeting.
It puts ADB well on its way to meet its $20 billion target by 2020. Of the total, non-sovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, a 26% increase from $2.5 billion in 2016. TA, meanwhile, increased by about 22% to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.
Strategy 2030, the impact of technological change and globalization on jobs, aging and longevity dividends, role of women entrepreneurs, and private sector participation in infrastructure development will be among the topics discussed.
ADB's new performance, commitments for the amount of loans and grants signed has reached $20.1 billion in 2017. This is a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.
An innovative $100 million TA loan to the Philippines, approved in October 2017, will help the government prepare and deliver infrastructure projects under its Build Build Build program.   
On the funding side, ADB offered new and innovative thematic products such as the health bond and gender bond. This is on top of increased efforts to raise local currency funding to meet the growing demand for non-sovereign local currency loans. ADB's Indonesian rupiah bond in December was the first bond issued from a multilateral development bank of which Indonesia is a shareholder.
"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," ADB President Takehiko Nakao said.
"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," he added
 "Disbursements are essential to make a difference on the ground. Cofinancing and catalyzation is a much-discussed strategy in the international community to realize the Sustainable Development Goals," said Nakao.
 "ADB will come up with additional concrete measures to increase disbursements and cofinancing, building on the new procurement policy approved in April 2017 and ongoing efforts to leverage resources," Nakao added.
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.
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.

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