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Current Affairs 2023

Asian Development Bank - UPSC Current Affairs

ADB (Asian Development Bank) is an international development finance institution founded in 1966 with a mission to reduce poverty in the Asia-Pacific region. ADB provides loans, grants, technical assistance, and policy advice to its member countries, with a particular focus on infrastructure development, private sector development, and environmental sustainability.

Apr 03, 2023

3 min read

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank founded in 1966 with the mission to promote social and economic development in Asia. With its headquarters in the Philippines, the bank maintains 31 field offices around the world. ADB has 68 members, including members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and non-regional developed countries. Initially with 31 members, ADB has grown in size and scope over the years.


The ADB closely resembles the World Bank, with a similar weighted voting system that distributes votes in proportion to members' capital subscriptions. The bank also releases an annual report that summarizes its operations, budget, and other materials for review by the public. In addition, the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP) enrolls approximately 300 students annually in academic institutions located in ten countries within the region. After completing their study programs, scholars are expected to contribute to the economic and social development of their home countries.


As of 31 December 2020, Japan and the United States held the largest proportion of shares in the bank at 15.571% each. China held 6.429%, India held 6.317%, and Australia held 5.773%. The highest policy-making body of the bank is the Board of Governors, composed of one representative from each member state. The board of governors elects among themselves the twelve members of the board of directors and their deputies. Eight of the twelve members come from regional (Asia-Pacific) members while the others come from non-regional members.


The board of governors also elects the bank's president, who is the chairperson of the board of directors and manages ADB. The president has a term of office lasting five years and may be reelected. Traditionally, the president has always been Japanese, given that Japan is one of the largest shareholders of the bank. The current president is Masatsugu Asakawa, who succeeded Takehiko Nakao in 2020.


ADB has a broad range of objectives and activities aimed at reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. The bank invests in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helps nations prepare for the impact of climate change, or better manage their natural resources, among other areas.


ADB's lending is concentrated primarily in five operational areas, with 80% of its lending concentrated in the public sector. These areas are education, environment, climate change, and disaster risk management, finance sector development, infrastructure (including transport, communications, energy, water supply, and sanitation, and urban development), regional cooperation and integration, and private sector lending.


ADB has also been active in financing projects across the region, such as the construction of rural roads in Cambodia, rehabilitation of irrigation systems in Myanmar, and the construction of a hydropower project in Nepal. In addition, the bank has helped develop transport infrastructure in Uzbekistan and supported the development of wind power in Pakistan.


In conclusion, the Asian Development Bank plays a crucial role in promoting social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific. With a broad range of objectives and activities aimed at reducing poverty, the bank invests in infrastructure, health care services, and environmental sustainability. Through its financing projects, ADB helps nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources. With a dedicated and experienced team, ADB continues to make a significant contribution to the region's development.

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