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ADB's Focus on Social Development

In the Spotlight

Why does ADB promote social development?

While hundreds of millions of people in Asia have benefited from economic growth, millions have been left behind and remain desperately poor. Social development directly targets the poor for assistance and support. It helps people benefit from economic growth and access basic government services. Social protection also provides a safety net for the poorest who have yet to gain from a country’s economic growth.

What kind of social development projects does ADB support?

ADB supports social protection programs such as government pensions, cash assistance for poor families with children, and national health care systems. In the Philippines, for example, more than four million poor households receive ADB-supported cash grants if they keep their children in school and meet other conditions. Many infrastructure projects have strong social development components. As well as promoting growth, the Jamuna Bridge project in Bangladesh gave more than 30 million people in the poorer western side access to the main transport and infrastructure network in the east.

Inclusive business and migration

Another important aspect of social development involves bringing the power of the private sector to the task of directly helping the poor. This is done through the promotion of inclusive business, which targets those on a low income with the dual purpose of making a profit while also helping the poor by providing services they need or giving them jobs and other income-generating opportunities. Migration is a powerful contributor to economic and social development. ADB works to maximize the benefits of migration and mobility while minimizing its risks and impacts.

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