The Government of Japan (GOJ) established the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) in May 2000 as a trust fund, managed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), in response to the devastating impact of the 1997 Asian financial crisis on vulnerable groups. Since then, JFPR has provided direct grant assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable in developing member countries (DMCs) of ADB, and beginning 2010, has provided financial support to ADB’s technical assistance program.

To date, JFPR has approved a total of $963.15 million for 487 projects: $589.0 million for 200 project grants and $374.15 million for 291 technical assistance projects. These projects range from small-scale social infrastructure grants and livelihood assistance for community groups, to disaster relief, rehabilitation, and preparedness projects such as we saw in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines in 2013, and the great Nepal earthquake in 2015. Born of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, JFPR saw the allocation by GOJ of $100 million to respond to the effects of yet another economic downturn – global financial crisis of 2008-2009 – on Asia’s most vulnerable groups.

In 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, GOJ allocated $75 million of JFPR funds to support (i) advisory services and capacity building to combat the spread of infectious diseases, and (ii) small medical infrastructures for infectious disease control and necessary medical care.

Its record over the past 20 years demonstrates the Fund’s, and the Government of Japan’s commitment to development that is collaborative, green, and resilient. JFPR is well-positioned to support ADB’s efforts towards collaboration for green and resilient recovery.