Have you ever stopped to think about how a development bank works? The Asian Development Bank has been around for more than 50 years now, but how does it go about reducing poverty and promoting prosperity in the Asia Pacific region?
Title: Did You Know? Asian Development Bank
Description: Have you ever stopped to think about how a development bank works? The Asian Development Bank has been around for nearly 50 years now, but how does it go about reducing poverty and promoting prosperity in the Asia Pacific region?
VO: When you think of Asia, what comes to mind? Sure, Asia’s the fastest growing region in the world - look at Singapore, look at Malaysia or Hong Kong, China. But it’s also home to the largest number of poor on the planet. That’s quite a contradiction.
Meet Yi Ling and Maya, both single young Asian women. But that’s where the similarities end.
Yi Ling lives in Singapore. She’s a successful accountant. Being an accountant took a lot of different things: pre-natal care for her mom, good nutrition, health care, quality education, housing, transport, power, and equal access to jobs.
But for every young person like Yi Ling, Asia is home to thousands and thousands like Maya. She’s unmarried with two small children living on a rubbish tip, no electricity, no water. Maya has had little formal education, working from just 12 to support her parents. Now, she sells snacks on the streets. Her future and that of her kids is bleak.
Helping people like Maya become happy, healthy, and productive like Yi Ling is what the Asian Development Bank does. So how do we do it? It’s fairly straightforward really.
Imagine for a moment you’re an Asian country with a dream, a dream for your people, people like Maya. That means better hospitals, roads, power, schools, bridges, airports, in fact all the things you need to transition from a poor country to a wealthier one. It's a huge deal when you think about it, and it all needs financing. But money is not free, you pay interest with the amount related to your credit rating. And if you’re a low-income country, getting finance for all that crucial infrastructure is not easy or cheap. Commercial banks say the risk is higher, so they charge a much higher interest.
And that’s where we come in. ADB is different. We offer low cost loans to governments and businesses that cannot easily borrow elsewhere. We always lend where the economic and development impact would be greatest. And to make the money work as hard as possible, we sweeten the deal with knowledge and technical assistance. It’s a formula that works. We know. We’ve been doing successfully in Asia and the Pacific for more than 50 years now.
And the needs are huge in the countries in which we work. Where countries are too poor to take loans, we offer generous grants to help create the recipe for growth.
While Yi Ling is wondering whether to splash out on a new smartphone or take a holiday in Bali; Maya is torn between feeding her children or buying medicine to control her diabetes. Let’s end her dilemma for good.
ADB has been part of Asia’s amazing journey from poverty to greater prosperity, but there’s still a long way to go. Come join us for the ride of the century as we help build a wealthier, healthier, smarter, and happier Asia for all.