Poverty and Development in Asia: The Asian Development Fund

The Asian Development Fund (ADF) offers loans at very low interest rates as well as grants to help ADB's poorest member countries reduce poverty and address other development challenges. Here are 12 things to know about the ADF.

  1. The ADF gives critical support to vulnerable economies in Asia and the Pacific through concessional financing. It has provided nearly $50 billion for projects and programs that have helped poor families escape poverty in the last 40 years.
    Source: Asian Development Fund
  1. Funded by ADB's member countries, the ADF started as a modest fund of $770 million in 1973. ADF resources have been replenished 10 times, the latest being ADF XI for the period 2013-2016.
    Source: ADB report ADF XI Donors' Report: Empowering Asia's Most Vulnerable
  1. There are currently 29 countries eligible for ADF assistance, including 17 countries which have access only to ADF funding from ADB. Based on 2009-2012 average annual approvals, the top recipients are Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Pakistan.
    Source: Asian Development Fund Partners
  1. As of 2008, almost 60% of the population in ADF countries (about 314 million people) lived on less than $2 a day.
    Source: ADB report ADF XI Donors' Report: Empowering Asia's Most Vulnerable
  1. ADF countries are more vulnerable to crises, natural disasters, and the adverse impact of climate change, although they contribute very little to it. A third of these countries have been classified by ADB as countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS) in 2012.
    Source: ADB report ADB Operational Plan for Enhancing ADB’s Effectiveness in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations
  1. ADF countries as a group are on track to achieve slightly more than one-third of the non-income Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Additional progress is within sight but will require renewed efforts.
    Source: ADB report ADF XI Donors' Report: Empowering Asia's Most Vulnerable
  1. ADF operations have contributed significantly to development in ADF countries, delivering critical outputs such as schools and trained teachers, new or better roads, water supply and sanitation facilities, power distribution and transmission lines, and telecommunications facilities.
    Source: ADB report ADF XI Donors' Report: Empowering Asia's Most Vulnerable
  1. The ADF supported projects and programs that directly target gender equality and women's empowerment in 14 countries between 2005 and 2012.
    Source: Asian Development Fund Facts and Figures
  1. A report by ADB's Independent Evaluation Department (IED) recommended additional funding for ADF operations to help ADF countries reduce comparatively higher levels of poverty and vulnerability to natural disasters.
    Source: Independent Evaluation Report The Asian Development Fund Operations: A Decade of Supporting Poverty Reduction in the Asia and Pacific Region
  1. The ADF has helped ADB’s poorest member countries deliver results in many areas. In education, ADF operations completed during ADF IX and ADF X (2005-2012) have built or upgraded about 300,000 classrooms and trained over 1 million teachers with more than 21 million school students receiving direct benefits.
    Source: Asian Development Fund Facts and Figures
  1. ADB has secured Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 7.9 billion ($12.4 billion) for ADF XI, which will cover operations from 2013 to 2016. This replenishment represents an increase of 11.1% in SDR (9.5% in USD terms) over ADF X.
    Source: ADB news release ADB Secures More Than $12 Billion to Help Asia's Poorest
  1. A dedicated funding mechanism - the Disaster Response Facility - has been set up on a pilot basis for the ADF XI period. The facility supports ADF countries' rehabilitation and reconstruction financing needs after major natural disasters.
    Source: ADB paper Piloting a Disaster Response Facility
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