What is ADB?

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank finances development in the Asia and Pacific region with the aim of reducing poverty. Approximately 1.7 billion people in the region are poor and unable to access essential goods, services, assets and opportunities to which every human is entitled.

What does ADB do?

With $21.57 billion in approved financing in 2012 and 3,045 employees from 61 of its 67 members, ADB in partnership with member governments, independent specialists and other financial institutions is focused on delivering projects that create economic and development impact.

ADB helps developing member countries tackle poverty by providing loans, technical assistance and grants for a broad range of development activities. Guiding ADB’s work is Strategy 2020, our long-term strategic framework.

ADB focuses on five core areas of operations: infrastructure; the environment, including climate change; regional cooperation and integration; finance sector development; and education. Find out more about our operations.

Over the past 6 years, ADB, through the Asian Development Fund, has:

  • expanded the access of more than 19 million students to quality education by building or upgrading more than 60,000 classrooms and training 720,000 teachers;
  • helped more than 252 million people gain better access to wider economic opportunities and social services by building or upgrading more than 56,000 (km) of roads;
  • provided more than 2.1 million households with access to clean water by installing or rehabilitating about 14,000 km of water supply pipes;
  • connected more than 1.8 million households to electricity by building or upgrading more than 35,000 km of power transmission and distribution lines; and
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by promoting more efficient and cleaner energy operations.

Who owns the bank?

ADB has 67 shareholding members including 48 from the Asia and Pacific region. View a complete list of our members and their joining dates.

Membership in the bank is open to:

How does ADB differ from commercial banks?

ADB is a multilateral development finance institution that engages in mostly public sector lending for development purposes. Our clients are our member governments, who are also our shareholders.

We also provide direct assistance to private enterprises of developing member countries through equity investments and loans.

Where does ADB get its funding?

ADB raises funds through bond issues on the world's capital markets. We also rely on our members' contributions, retained earnings from our lending operations, and the repayment of loans.

We also provide loans and grants from a number of Special Funds. The largest is the Asian Development Fund, which offers grants and loans at very low interest rates.

Thanks to our fifth general capital increase in 2009, ADB’s capital has tripled from $55 billion to $165 billion, providing us with more resources to fight for an Asia and Pacific region free from poverty.

Download the Financial Report of the ADB Annual Report 2012.

How much assistance does ADB provide to support development activities in the Asia-Pacific region?

In 2012, ADB’s operations totaled $21.57 billion, of which $13.30 billion was financed by ADB (Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) and Special Funds) and $8.27 billion by cofinancing partners.

ADB's financing included

  • $10.61 billion in loans,
  • $131 million in equity investments,
  • $697 million in grants,
  • $403 million in guarantees,
  • $146 million in technical assistance.

Projects funded from OCR amounted to $10.14 billion, or 76% of the total ADB approvals of $13.30 billion. The remaining 24% is accounted for by Special Funds Resources that include the Asian Development Fund and Technical Assistance Special Fund.

Nonsovereign operations in 2012, including cofinancing, totaled $7.96 billion.

How is ADB governed?

ADB's highest policy-making body is the Board of Governors, which meets annually and comprises one representative from each member nation – 48 from the Asia-Pacific and 19 from outside the region. View the list of members.

The Governors elect 12 members of the Board of Directors. The ADB President, assisted by six Vice Presidents and a Managing Director General, manages the business of ADB.

Does ADB share information about its operations with the public?

Yes. ADB values transparency and is committed to increased disclosure of information under the public communications policy (PCP). An essential part of our institutional governance, the PCP promotes proactive external relations and recognizes the right of people to seek, access, and impart information about our operations.

The review of the 2005 policy in 2010 has shown that overall our public communications policy remains relevant and that ADB compares well against other multilateral development banks in terms of information disclosure good practices.

How does ADB ensure that the voice of the poor is heard at all levels of decision making?

ADB consults people from all sections of society to ensure that our projects, programs, and strategies meet people's needs. The country partnership strategy - the main planning document at the country level - emphasizes consultation with the government, the private sector, civil society, and all project stakeholders.

What is ADB doing to fight corruption?

Our Anticorruption Policy requires all staff and parties carrying out activities financed by ADB (e.g., bidders, consulting firms, consultants, contractors, and suppliers) to adhere to the highest financial and ethical standards. The Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) conducts investigations and audits related to project procurement, and raises awareness on anticorruption issues.

Contact OAI to report concerns or evidence that corruption, fraud, coercion, collusion, abuse, conflict of interest, or obstructive practice may have occurred or is occurring related to any ADB-financed activity.

Where is ADB located?

Our headquarters is in Manila, Philippines. We have 28 resident missions across the Asia and Pacific region, and 3 representative offices in Washington, DC, Frankfurt, and Tokyo.