The past 50 years have been a time of rapid change for the region and the Asian Development Fund (ADF).

From being the poorest region of the world, Asia and the Pacific has become one of the key engines of global growth. As a result, the number of poor living on less than $2.15 a day in the region was reduced drastically from over a billion in 1973 to around 200 million today.

The ADF is proud to be a steadfast partner in this process of growth and development.

The ADF has provided $85 billion in concessional assistance to 36 developing members.

The region still faces unprecedented challenges. Since 2020, the deep and protracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has caused significant reversals of development gains in the region and exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, both within and across countries. Deepening global challenges like climate change, biodiversity, food security, and pandemics have further hindered progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and require new approaches.

As ADB’s largest Special Fund and ADB’s main source of grants, the ADF remains critical to building resilience and sustainability in ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries.


The Asian Development Fund is proud to celebrate 50 years of helping the poorest and most vulnerable.

Working side by side with donors and recipients through times of rapid change in Asia and the Pacific — from having more than a billion people living on $2.15 a day 50 years ago, to a fast-growing region facing global challenges like climate change and environmental sustainability.

The ADF evolved with the needs of the region.

From soft loans to grants, it has provided more than $85 billion to 36 developing member countries over the years to support a development agenda encompassing poverty reduction, social sectors, policy reforms, and cross-cutting areas like environment, gender, regional cooperation, and private sector development. 

Grant assistance helps to maintain debt sustainability, and to focus attention on areas like disaster risk reduction and regional health security, challenges that extend well beyond borders and impact Asia and the Pacific's ability to meet the SDGs.

ADF meetings have become a platform for policy dialogue with donors and developing members on a broad range of issues – including aid effectiveness.

The ADF has led the way on reforms and policies that have transformed ADB operations.

We celebrate 50 years of successful development assistance during which five former recipients of ADF have become ADF donors.

The ADF is a steadfast partner in supporting the most vulnerable while addressing the development needs of the region, focusing on fragile situations and small island states.

As multilateral development banks evolve to address vast investment needs for global and regional public goods, the ADF will be a critical source of assistance for vulnerable countries, particularly for climate adaptation and biodiversity preservation.