MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Government of Australia has established a grant facility at ADB to undertake project activities in South Asia with an initial contribution of A$11 million (US$8.5 million).
The Australia-ADB South Asia Development Partnership Facility will fund activities such as technical assistance operations, components of investment projects, and stand-alone grant-financed work.
The countries eligible for assistance under the facility are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
"The facility will flexibly finance high quality innovative approaches that effectively address the major development challenges faced by South Asia," says Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB's South Asia Department. "It will also undertake projects to build better services that will have an impact not only on local delivery systems but also improve the lives of people at grass roots level."
Eligible activities include enhancing governance (particularly at local level) such as assisting decentralization and devolution of service delivery, addressing urban development issues such as municipal financing of infrastructure and establishing public-private partnerships, promoting inclusive growth, furthering human resource development (particularly in social and other service delivery), and regional cooperation and integration.
"We welcome this generous contribution from the Australian Government that will play an important role in ADB's governance, regional cooperation, and poverty reduction work in South Asia," says Werner Liepach, Principal Director of ADB's Office of Cofinancing Operations.
The fund, to be administered by ADB, will run for five years to 2011 and may be extended or added to at the discretion of the Australian Government.