MANILA, PHILIPPINES (30 August 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to improve the welfare of the aging population in Xiangyang Municipality, Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“It has become critically challenging for many families to provide needed care for their elderly family members in Xiangyang,” said ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist Hiroko Uchimura-Shiroishi. “With this project, we will increase the utilization of coordinated elderly care services in the municipality.”

In 2019, the PRC had the world’s largest population of elderly people aged 65 years and above, totaling 176 million. The proportion of elderly people to the total population (the aging rate) was 12.6% in 2019, and is expected to reach 14% in 2025 and 21% in 2035. Following national trends, Xiangyang is also facing significant aging of its population. Its total population decreased recently from 5.92 million in 2018 to 5.89 million in 2019, while the elderly population aged 65 years and above increased from 750,000 to 880,000 during the same period.

Existing elderly care services in Xiangyang are of varying quality and unable to adequately respond to the needs of elderly people. Before 2015, there were neither public nor private elderly care institutions in the municipality. There is also significant variation in the quality of facilities and care services among those existing elderly care institutions because a standardized elderly care system has not yet been established in the municipality.

The project aims to develop capacity for provision of elderly care services. This will involve establishing an institutional scheme for proper elderly care service provision, helping prepare proper designs of elderly care facilities, and building at least six elderly care facilities based on the proper designs with gender-sensitive facility use.

The project will also help develop a public–private partnership (PPP) for elderly care service provision. To enhance the private sector’s involvement in elderly care service provision in Xiangyang, the project will help build and operate at least one elderly care facility under a PPP framework. The availability payment or viability gap funding models are contemplated for the PPP framework, where the public sector will cover the financial gap that the private sector cannot recover through user fees. ADB will be also providing Transaction Advisory Services for the effective design and implementation of the PPP subproject.

Capacity in provision of geriatric acute care and rehabilitation will also be strengthened. The project will help prepare a functional plan for two hospitals focusing on geriatric acute care and rehabilitation to respond to the needs of elderly patients and construct two hospitals with strengthened geriatric acute care and rehabilitation sections.

Total cost of the project is $307.26 million, with $157.26 million financing from the government. It is expected to be completed in 2027.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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