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ADB 2017 operations reach $28.9b

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Economic Reporter :
Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations-comprising approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance (TA), and co-financing reached at $28.9 billion in 2017 in its continued efforts to help meet Asia and the Pacific's development needs, according to preliminary figures.
Approvals of loans and grants from ADB's own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, representing a 9 percent increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016. This puts ADB well on its way to meet its $20 billion target by 2020. Of the total, nonsovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, a 26 percent increase from $2.5 billion in 2016. TA, meanwhile, increased by about 22 percent to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.
Commitments (the amount of loans and grants signed)-ADB's new performance measure-reached $20.1 billion. This is a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.
"The strong figures for ADB operations in the past year were supported by the successful merger of ADB's concessional Asian Development Fund lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet-which took effect at the start of 2017," said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
"This will allow us to deliver a much higher level of assistance to our developing member countries for years to come without seeking a capital increase," added the ADB president.
A highlight of ADB's operational figures for 2017 is climate financing, which reached a record $4.5 billion (comprising mitigation $3.6 billion and adaptation $0.9 billion), a 21 percent increase from 2016. This puts ADB in a good position to achieve its $6 billion climate financing target by 2020.
Co-financing approvals declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to the delay of large expected cofinanced projects. Disbursements were $11.7 billion in 2017, compared to $12.7 billion in 2016. This is because of lower approvals, and hence disbursements, of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.
"Disbursements are essential to make a difference on the ground. Cofinancing and catalyzation is a much-discussed strategy in the international community to realize the Sustainable Development Goals," said Mr. Nakao. "ADB will come up with additional concrete measures to increase disbursements and cofinancing, building on the new procurement policy approved in April 2017 and ongoing efforts to leverage resources."
Among ADB's other operational highlights were projects that combine finance with innovative approaches to development, including satellite data and remote sensing to improve irrigation in Indonesia and Pakistan, pilot testing of climate-smart agriculture practices in Bangladesh, and supporting social welfare reforms in Mongolia to promote human development.

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