First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Donors have agreed to a replenishment in excess of $4 billion for the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian Development Fund (ADF) 13 and Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF) 7, for the 4-year period from 2021 to 2024.
The total size of the replenishment represents a 7% increase in comparison to the previous replenishment, which covered the 2017–2020 period. Total resources are allocated between ADF 13 and TASF 7: about $3.5 billion and about $0.5 billion, respectively.
Of the total replenishment size, more than $2.3 billion, or 58%, will be funded by contributions from 30 donors including 2 new donors: Azerbaijan and the Philippines. The remaining $1.7 billion, or 42%, will be funded by internal resources, including net income transfers from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and income from ADF’s liquidity investment. The total replenishment size is expected to increase further as three more donors confirm their pledges.
ADF is the largest special fund of ADB and finances grant operations in its poorest and most vulnerable members. The fund is replenished every 4 years.
“We highly appreciate our donors’ support for ADF 13 and TASF 7, even as their own economies are under pressure from the heavy health and economic toll of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “Our assistance will be critical in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and building an inclusive and sustainable recovery in the poorest and most vulnerable countries of the region.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll in terms of human lives and health, jobs, growth, and economic progress in Asia and the Pacific. Gains in reducing poverty are threatened, inequalities will increase, and progress against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are likely to be set back, especially in low income countries which include fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS) and small island developing states (SIDS).
To help these countries cope with the crisis and ensure robust sustainable and inclusive recovery, ADF grants together with ADB’s concessional loans will deliver more than $16 billion in assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable members in 2021–2024.
ADF 13 will be the first ADF round to support implementation of ADB’s corporate strategy—Strategy 2030—during its full cycle and will fund key agendas in eligible countries, which include a majority of FCAS, such as Afghanistan, and SIDS. For the first time, ADF will include a thematic sub-window to incentivize governments to consider ambitious projects significantly supporting regional cooperation and integration; regional public goods such as regional health security, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation; and SDG 5’s transformative gender agenda.
Other priority areas targeted in ADF 13 include quality infrastructure in line with the G20’s principles, strong governance, development of private sector operations, and debt sustainability through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Finance Policy, in close coordination with the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund, which will also improve debt transparency. All of these special areas become even more relevant in the context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
TASF 7 will continue to support capacity building, policy advice, and knowledge production and will have an increased focus on how to help ADF and concessional lending countries strengthen debt sustainability.
The replenishment meeting was held on the eve of the second stage of ADB’s 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, held this year over two days in a virtual and abbreviated format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other events held on 16 September included a meeting of the Governors of Pacific Developing Member Countries, an ADB Institute webinar on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Asia, and the 15th informal meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Finance Ministers.
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