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What We Do

ADB supports projects in developing member countries that create economic and development impact, delivered through both public and private sector operations, advisory services, and knowledge support. Strategy 2030 sets the course for ADB's efforts to respond effectively to Asia and the Pacific's changing needs.

Sectors and Thematic Areas

Sectors and Thematic Areas

ADB focuses on sectors that align with the commitment to eradicate poverty. The Bank’s work also spans across several development goals and cross-cutting initiatives.

ADB's Focus on Infrastructure

Why does ADB work in infrastructure?

Infrastructure – defined as a country’s physical facilities, such as roads, power plants, and bridges – is critical for regional development. Poor infrastructure slows economic growth and limits the investment needed to create the jobs that help lift people out of poverty. Power outages hurt factory productivity. Bad roads, ports and airports stifle flows of people, goods, and services. Inadequate water and sanitation prevent millions from leading healthy, productive lives.

How is ADB supporting infrastructure?

ADB provides loans, grants and technical assistance to its developing member countries, to the private sector and through public-private partnerships to support the building and maintenance of infrastructure. The majority is in water, energy, transport, urban development, and information and communications technology. ADB is scaling up its operations by 50% from $14 billion in 2014 to more than $20 billion in 2020, with 70% of this amount going toward infrastructure.

How much infrastructure does Asia and the Pacific need?

Though nearly $900 billion is spent a year on infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific, that’s substantially less than the $1.7 trillion that ADB estimates the region needs annually from 2016 until 2030 to keep pace with climate change and economic growth. Energy and transport account for nearly 90% of total investment needs. If our vision of a region free of poverty is to become reality, new ways of funding regional infrastructure need to be developed, along with a greater role for the private sector.

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ADB's Focus on Social Development

Why does ADB promote social development?

While hundreds of millions of people in Asia have benefited from economic growth, millions have been left behind and remain desperately poor. Social development directly targets the poor for assistance and support. It helps people benefit from economic growth and access basic government services. Social protection also provides a safety net for the poorest who have yet to gain from a country’s economic growth.

What kind of social development projects does ADB support?

ADB supports social protection programs such as government pensions, cash assistance for poor families with children, and national health care systems. In the Philippines, for example, more than four million poor households receive ADB-supported cash grants if they keep their children in school and meet other conditions. Many infrastructure projects have strong social development components. As well as promoting growth, the Jamuna Bridge project in Bangladesh gave more than 30 million people in the poorer western side access to the main transport and infrastructure network in the east.

Inclusive business and migration

Another important aspect of social development involves bringing the power of the private sector to the task of directly helping the poor. This is done through the promotion of inclusive business, which targets those on a low income with the dual purpose of making a profit while also helping the poor by providing services they need or giving them jobs and other income-generating opportunities. Migration is a powerful contributor to economic and social development. ADB works to maximize the benefits of migration and mobility while minimizing its risks and impacts.

Corporate Sustainability

ADB assesses and discloses the impact of its work on the environment, societies, and economies of Asia and the Pacific. This includes the disclosure of environmental, social, and governance information related to its activities. ADB’s Sustainability Report provides a single point of reference for ADB’s stakeholders to understand their commitment to sustainable development.

Further details on sustainability in ADB’s operations are available under focus areas. ADB is working to minimize its carbon footprint and maintain the highest standards in environmental and social governance.

ADB is working to ensure sustainability in: public communications; integrity and anticorruption; diversity and equal opportunities; labor practices; procurement; and in other areas.

Examples of ADB’s leadership in energy and environmental management, include:

  • Receiving a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification for its headquarters extension;
  • Successfully verifying, to international standards, its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory for its headquarters;
  • Achieving international standards certification for its events sustainability management system following the Annual Meeting in 2018 in ADB headquarters, Manila, Philippines;
  • Purchasing carbon credits to offset GHG emissions of ADB’s headquarters for 2016-2018;
  • Holding events to promote sustainability in ADB headquarters called ADB Sustainability in Action. The theme for 2019 was in line with World Environment Day’s Beat Air Pollution.

ADB promotes the concept of corporate sustainability among its members in the region. This is done through technical assistance and private sector initiatives, raising awareness of best environmental and social practices and the core elements of good corporate governance.

Publications and Documents

Explore our data-rich research, policy analysis, toolkits, guidelines, and other resources on economics and key development topics. Our operational documents are also available in this section.

Data and Statistics

Data and Statistics

The latest key economic, financial, and social research publications, data and statistics for Asia and the Pacific.

Other ADB Sites

ADB Institute

ADB Institute

Tokyo-based think tank that helps build capacity, skills, and knowledge on poverty reduction and other areas that support long-term growth and competitiveness in developing economies in Asia and the Pacific.

Development Asia

Development Asia

ADB's knowledge collaboration platform for sharing development experience and expertise, best practice, and technology relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Asian Development Blog

Asian Development Blog

Highlighting key development issues in Asia and the Pacific.

AsianBondsOnline

AsianBondsOnline

AsianBondsOnline is a one-stop source of information on bond markets in emerging East Asia.