The Asian Development Fund (ADF) is ADB’s largest source of grants for operations in its poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries and is replenished every four years. This week, donors and ADB agreed to a replenishment of $5 billion for ADF 14 and Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF) 8. ADF 14 – marking the 13th replenishment since the fund’s establishment – will support grant operations during 2025–2028.

Mr. Tomoyuki Kimura is the Director General of the Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Department at ADB, which provides strategic planning perspective and direction, ensures policy and operations coordination, and maintains institutional relations with the international development community, especially on matters relating to resource mobilization.

Tomoyuki Kimura
Tomoyuki Kimura, Director General, Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Department, ADB

What sets ADF apart within ADB?

I have had the privilege of leading the ADF team since 2017, which has allowed me to appreciate the vital role ADF plays for ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable members.

ADF is ADB’s largest special fund; it is ADB’s primary source of grant assistance. Through grants, the ADF facilitates much-needed development projects at scale, without straining the limited fiscal resources of our members that are most in need. These projects include critical infrastructure – in energy and transport, for example – as well as essential services such as health and education.

In the last 50 years, the ADF has contributed to the rapid development in Asia and the Pacific that lifted more than 800 million people out of extreme poverty.

This is important, as ADF recipients face mounting crises. Record-breaking heat waves, droughts, more intense storms, and flooding, with ongoing pandemic recovery – all these have severely set back hard-won development gains.

A strong ADF means that ADF recipients can invest in a resilient future without adding to their debt burden. It means that our ADF recipients can invest in building better food security, preserving biodiversity, improving ocean health, and enhancing pandemic preparedness, among others.

I’m proud of this strong legacy of impact. In the last 50 years, the ADF has contributed to the rapid development in Asia and the Pacific that lifted more than 800 million people out of extreme poverty.

We’re continuing to work with our donor partners to expand support. This latest replenishment of $5 billion for ADF 14 reflects the largest ever volume of ADF grants – it’s about 22% higher than the $4.1 billion available in the last replenishment, ADF 13, and will allow us to better support our communities.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
The ADF promotes poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life in the poorer countries of the Asia and Pacific region. Photo: ADB

How does ADF fit into ADB's overall strategy?

The grants from ADF 14 are central to ADB’s ongoing evolution to better address the urgent, growing, and interrelated and more complex challenges faced by our member countries. ADF 14 complements other initiatives. We are currently reviewing our Strategy 2030, which will sharpen our vision and operational approach to better help members manage mounting development challenges. A new ADB Corporate Results Framework will fine-tune how we measure the effectiveness of our operations toward achieving even better results.

ADB also plans to provide, in parallel to ADF 14, a potential $16.7 billion in concessional loans, which have very low interest rates over long repayment periods.

The ADF 14 replenishment follows our significant announcement last September, where ADB rebalanced its balance sheet to unlock $100 billion in new funding over the next decade. ADB’s annual lending capacity will rise to more than $36 billion—an increase of approximately $10 billion, or 40%.

The upcoming plan for harnessing ADB’s expanded lending capacity, alongside a robust ADF, will allow our members to contribute better toward addressing global and regional challenges. This responds to the G20 Leaders’ Declaration in New Delhi, which calls for empowering countries to address global challenges.

What's new in ADF 14?

Photo: Asian Development Bank
ADF 14 prioritizes dedicated assistance to small island developing states that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and to countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Photo: ADB

ADF 14 will sharpen focus on global and regional public goods – that is, addressing issues that extend beyond borders. This includes climate adaptation, food and water security, biodiversity, and broader environment conservation.

ADF 14 will see significantly expanded support for small island developing states (SIDS), as they are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, while only responsible for about 0.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Fund will provide life-saving assistance and support the economic resilience of communities in SIDS, as well as in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS), during disasters and other emergencies.

Another important initiative is the Community Development Window for the People of Afghanistan and Myanmar. This will allow dedicated assistance for the people of these two countries, particularly for supporting basic human needs and promoting sustainable livelihoods development. The community development window will harness novel financing arrangements, working with development partners to ensure that ADB’s assistance remains outside of the formal sphere of influence of de facto governments.

What have you seen change with the ADF?

Photo: Asian Development Bank
The ADF remains critical to building resilience and sustainability in ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries. Photo: ADB

Adaptability and agility are among the key strengths of the ADF. ADF has evolved with the needs of the region and sharpened its focus on their biggest challenges around climate change in addition to lifting people out of poverty and promoting sustainable development.

With the last replenishment four years ago, for example, we introduced a dedicated window to support specific issues, aligned with ADB’s overall priorities; it focused on spurring urgent action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction; fostering regional cooperation and integration, including the provision of regional public goods; and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5’s transformative gender agenda.

With ADF 14, we are substantially expanding the Thematic Window, with a focus on climate change adaptation and building resilience, as part of ADB’s other support for building climate resilience.

We’ll also continue to pilot opportunities to support private sector development, even in the most constrained contexts, in support of ADB’s private sector development shift.

ADF has been able to expand to meet ADF recipients’ immediate needs. The first replenishment that I oversaw – ADF 12 – included a dedicated facility that initially covered disasters triggered by natural hazards. With ADF 13, the timely financing expanded to include public health emergencies and amid large cross-border movements, support for displaced people. For ADF 14, in reflection of the growing complexity and interconnectivity of potential disasters, assistance under the Crisis Response Window will allow for more flexible support.

We‘ve been continuously fine-tuning ADF’s support for SIDS as they have particular vulnerabilities and structural constraints. For ADF 14, all ADB SIDS members will now have greatly expanded resources at their disposal for urgent development needs.