Asian Development Fund (ADF)

ADF provides grants to ADB's lower-income developing member countries. Established in 1974, the ADF initially provided loans on concessional terms. Activities supported by the ADF promote poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life in the poorer countries of the Asia and Pacific region.

50 Years of Meeting Asia and the Pacific’s Most Urgent Need

The past 50 years have been a time of rapid change for the region and the ADF.

From being the world's poorest region, 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. 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 DMCs.

  • 1974-1984


    ADF lending focused on agriculture and energy

  • 1985-1994


    Development agenda started to expand to address challenges like environmental degradation

  • 1995-2004


    ADF gave more priority to social sectors: environment, gender, regional cooperation, and private sector development

  • 2005-2014


    Grants were introduced to reduce debt burdens in ADB's poorest DMCs

  • 2015-2024


    ADF focus expands from poverty reduction to building resilience and sustainability

Focus on Climate Change

The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific and will disproportionately affect the region’s most vulnerable. It will impact the livelihoods, food, water, and health for millions of people. ADF supports disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation.

Focus on Gender Equality

Gender equality is fundamental to an inclusive and resilient Asia and the Pacific. The ADF supports a transformative gender agenda, focused on eliminating violence against women and girls, ensuring women’s participation in decision-making and leadership, and ensuring equal access to economic and productive resources.

Focus on Social Development

The ADF supports sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth by addressing long-term needs like equitable quality education and ensuring healthy lives and well-being for vulnerable communities.

Focus on Small Island Developing States

Small island developing states (SIDS) in the Pacific are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, often facing severe funding gaps to ensure sustainable infrastructure and services. ADF is a steadfast partner in building resilience for its communities in areas including accelerating energy transition, building climate resilience, and strengthening disaster response and resilience.