Pakistan Becomes the Largest Recipient of ADB-Funded Programs Amidst Economic Crisis:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Report 2022 revealed that Pakistan received loans of $5.58 billion, making it the largest recipient of ADB-funded programs/projects in the year 2022. Out of the total lending, Pakistan received concessional funding of $2.67 billion from the bank, highlighting the dire economic situation in the country. This significant lending reflects the severity of the economic crisis in Pakistan, which has been compounded by political and geopolitical uncertainties.
Natural Disasters and Food Insecurity Worsen Economic Woes in Pakistan and Afghanistan:
The ADB report cited extreme floods in Pakistan that damaged over one-third of the Kharif (summer) seasonal cropping area, curtailing food supply and driving up prices. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, drought and flash floods worsened food insecurity and contributed to soaring prices of staple items, impacting the entire population. To address this crisis, the ADB committed $3.7 billion from the programme in 2022, including essential food assistance for those in need, especially women and girls, in Afghanistan (using UN systems), Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Countercyclical Support Facility to Aid Countries Affected by Food and Energy Crisis:
The ADB also provided a combined $2.2 billion, directed through the bank’s countercyclical support facility, for the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. All these countries were severely impacted by the food and energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the case of Pakistan, devastating floods exacerbated the economic woes, leading to domestic inflation and curtailing consumption.
ADB’s Role in Providing Timely Response to Crises in the Asia Pacific Region:
The ADB has played a critical role in providing timely responses to emerging and ongoing crises in the Asia Pacific region. The bank’s support to the countries affected by natural disasters and economic challenges has been significant. The ADB’s funding has helped address food insecurity, enhance energy security, and support the affected population. The bank’s focus on concessional funding has provided crucial support to the countries struggling with severe economic challenges.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established in 1966 to promote economic and social progress in Asia and the Pacific.
- ADB is headquartered in Manila, Philippines, and has 68 member countries, including 49 from the Asia-Pacific region.
- ADB provides loans, grants, and technical assistance to its member countries for various development projects, including infrastructure development, poverty reduction, and regional integration.
- ADB’s priorities include addressing climate change, promoting gender equality, and supporting private sector development.
- ADB has committed over $330 billion in loans and grants since its inception and aims to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.
- The top five shareholders in ADB, in terms of voting power, are Japan (15.6%), the United States (15.6%), China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).
- India is the fourth-largest shareholder in ADB and has been a member since its inception. In recent years, India has been one of the largest recipients of ADB funding for various development projects, including infrastructure, education, health, and poverty reduction.