The Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed US$22.8 billion from its own resources in 2021 to help Asia and the Pacific tackle the immediate effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and promote a green recovery.

Financial and operational results were published on April 25 in ADB’s Annual Report 2021.  The report summarizes how ADB supported its developing member countries (DMCs) through a combination of finance, knowledge, and partnerships.

The US$22.8 billion committed in 2021 includes loans and guarantees, grants, equity investments, and technical assistance provided to governments and the private sector. In addition, ADB mobilized $12.9 billion in cofinancing.

Of ADB’s 2021 commitments, US$13.5 billion, or 59%, was for pandemic response, although many of these commitments, such as strengthening the health sector, will also help the region long after the pandemic is over.

The Bank’s pandemic response support included US$4.9 billion in rapid disbursing financing for governments to support structural reforms and address debt sustainability.  The financing included $4.6 billion in policy-based lending and US$250 million through the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option.

As part of the pandemic response, ADB committed US$4.1 billion to enable the procurement and delivery of safe and effective vaccines for its DMCs.  The bank also provided US$3.3 billion to the private sector to keep businesses open, trade flowing, and make medical products and services available. A broad range of knowledge support guided COVID-19 response and recovery plans.

Addressing longer-term development challenges, such as climate change, remained an important focus of ADB’s 2021 operations.

To help meet its new elevated ambition of US$100 billion in cumulative climate financing by 2030, the bank announced a series of financing initiatives to bolster the region’s low-carbon development. For example, ADB launched the Energy Transition Mechanism that will leverage private and public investments to finance the early retirement of coal-power assets, scale up clean and renewable energy solutions, and ensure the transition is just and affordable.

All of ADB’s 2021 commitments include elements that will specifically benefit women and girls. The bank also ramped up efforts to assist governments to mobilize domestic financial resources essential for sustainable growth, including through the launch of the Asia Pacific Tax Hub, a vehicle to support tax and related reforms region-wide.

ADB’s 2021 commitments were funded by its second-largest borrowing program to-date, which raised US$35.8 billion through the capital markets.  ADB sold a record volume of thematic bonds last year and issued education bonds and blue bonds for ocean health for the first time.

The Annual Report also details a series of internal reforms under way to ensure ADB has the right skills, culture, structure, and tools to fulfil its mission.

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.