About ADB: FAQs

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 1.4 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 $22.93 billion in approved financing in 2014 and 2,997 employees from 60 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.

Asian Development Fund operations completed during 2010-2013 has helped ADB’s poorest member countries deliver results in many areas. It has:

  • built or upgraded educational facilities for the benefit of over 17 million students, and trained over 1 million teachers with quality or competency standards. More than 28 million students were educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems;
  • built or upgraded 25,000 km of roads which saw over 10 million vehicle-km of daily use on average in the first full year of operation;
  • provided more than 1 million households with access to clean water by installing or rehabilitating 15,000 km of water supply pipes, and upgraded sanitation in 293,000 households. Almost 2 million hectares of land have been improved as a result of irrigation, drainage, and flood management initiatives;
  • installed 230 megawatts of new generating capacity, and built or upgraded 11,300 kilometers (km) of transmission and distribution lines; and
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by promoting more efficient and cleaner energy operations.

Results of ADB-supported Operations

In pursuing its vision of an Asia and Pacific free of poverty, ADB employs its limited resources in its areas of comparative strength—the core areas of infrastructure, environment, regional cooperation and integration, finance sector development, and education, as identified by Strategy 2020. ADB also operates on a limited scale in other areas, including health, agriculture and natural resources, and public sector management, in partnership with other organizations. ADB operations are designed to support the three complementary agendas of inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. More

Who owns ADB?

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 ADB 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.

An innovation to combine concessional lending operations with ordinary capital resources balance sheet aims to enhance ADB’s lending capacity. Read more about combining ADB's Asian Development Fund (ADF) and Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR).

Read the ADB Annual Report and Financial Profile.

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

In 2014, ADB’s operations totaled $22.93 billion, of which $13.69 billion was financed by ADB (Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) and Special Funds) and $9.24 billion by cofinancing partners.

Sovereign operations in 2014, including official and technical assistance cofinancing, totaled $15.99 billion. Some of ADB's sovereign financing included:

  • $11.20 billion in loans,
  • $405 million in grants,
  • $148 million in technical assistance.

Nonsovereign operations, including cofinancing, totaled $6.94 billion. Some of ADB's non-sovereign financing included:

  • $17.14 billion in loans,
  • $185 million in equity investments.

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 access to 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 29 resident missions across the Asia and Pacific region, and 3 representative offices in Washington, DC, Frankfurt, and Tokyo.