Social Development and Poverty
ADB’s central mission is working to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific and to ensure the benefits of economic growth and social development are equitably spread.
Rapid aging in Asia and the Pacific has put the region at the forefront of one of the most important global demographic trends.
With longer life expectancies and decreased fertility rates, rapid aging in Asia and the Pacific has put the region at the forefront of one of the most important global demographic trends. By 2050, one in four people in Asia and the Pacific will be over 60 years old. The population of older persons (aged over 60) in the region will triple between 2010 and 2050, reaching close to 1.3 billion people. In some countries such as the People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam, this transition will happen very rapidly, and in others, such as Indonesia, it will not be as quick but they will end up with very large populations of older persons.
This demographic transition will have wide social and economic consequences on the region with implications ranging from the ways cities and communities are built and organized; the delivery and organization of health and social services; work, employment and social security as well as supportive fiscal policies. Recognizing and maximizing the social and economic contributions of the older population will be required for sustainable development.
Under its long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, ADB will help improve the lives of vulnerable people in Asia and the Pacific, including the region’s aging population. This will include better infrastructure like mass public transport systems to enhance access of older persons to basic services.
Through its growing health and social protection projects, ADB will pay special attention to the long-term care and health of the region’s aging population. ADB supported several innovations in these sectors, including support for public–private partnerships to expand primary care and elderly care services in Bangladesh and the People’s Republic of China.
ADB helps build a knowledge base and create a knowledge network to disseminate good practices and expertise in Asia and the Pacific in the development of elderly care systems and services, as well as in the identification of potential investments in selected countries. ADB also supports the development of the capacity of developing member country officials and other stakeholders on strategic planning for and implementation of elderly care across multiple sectors, such as health, social protection, urban development, transport, and private sector development. All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that the poor and vulnerable in the Asia and Pacific region, including older people, are not left behind.