MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $21.57 billion in financing operations including cofinancing last year, according to ADB's 2012 Annual Report, released ahead of its 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors to be held 2-5 May in Delhi, India.
Poverty reduction in Asia remains "an unfinished agenda" despite the region's strong record of economic growth, the report notes.
In 2012, operations were concentrated in five core areas: infrastructure, environment, regional cooperation and integration, finance sector development, and education. ADB continued to focus on its three key development agendas of inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
A special focus on regional integration highlights ADB's work to forge closer links between countries across the region, including the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund; a new five-year strategy for the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program; cross-border partnerships between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Mongolia and PRC and Viet Nam; accelerated cooperation in South Asia; and a new generation of planned projects for the second decade of cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Other notable achievements in 2012 include: $825 million in funding for India's power transmission systems; record replenishment of Asian Development Fund of $12.4 billion to help Asia's poorest; the first-ever loans for road network upgrades in Timor-Leste; a $625 million equity investment in the innovative Philippines Infrastructure Fund; a new public-private partnership plan; a new Interim Country Partnership Strategy for Myanmar; and ADB's first Supply Chain Finance Program to help the region's small businesses access capital to help them grow.
ADB also continued to improve operational efficiency and development effectiveness in 2012.