Finland continues to support the Asian Development Fund
Finland has pledged about EUR 11 million to the Asian Development Fund in 2017–2020. Support channelled to the Asian Development Bank has brought significant results in the developing countries: for example, 12,2 million schoolchildren – half of them girls – benefited from better opportunties to attend school in 2014.
Despite the Asian countries' rapid economic growth, the majority of the poorest people of the world live in Asia. Development gaps and income disparities between the countries and within them are on the rise.
Lack of infrastructure, weak administration, under-developed private sector, and societies' vulnerability to natural disasters as well as other external factors hamper the countries' economic and social development.
Representatives of 32 donor and borrowing countries reached agreement on the so-called 12th replenishment on 1 May. In the meeting in Frankfurt, a decision was made on a pledge of USD 3.7 billion for a period from 2017 to 2020. The donor countries' share is a total of approximately USD 2.5 billion.
Over a half of the financing will be provided by countries from the region; the biggest of which are Japan and Australia. China raised its share to more than four-fold and India's share nearly tripled compared to the previous financing period.
Support for fragile countries
The Asian Development Fund supports the poorest and most debt-distressed countries in the region. The Fund's activities are guided by the Strategy of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which emphasises inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable development and regional intergration.
Strengthening of the position of women and girls is a cross-cutting theme in all of the Fund's activities.
In the next financing period, the Fund will focus its operations on fragile countries, especially Afghanistan and Myanmar, as well as on work related to climate change and natural disasters.
The priorities are well in agreement with the UN sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Finnish Government Report on Development Policy.
In 2014, the following results were achieved through the ADB:
- 25,000 households were connected to electricity
- 141,000 households' access to water supply and sewerage improved
- 833,000 people received microfinance, 811,000 of them being women
- 12,2 million schoolchildren benefited from new or improved school buildings, half of them being girls
- 19 million schoolchildren received higher quality teaching, half of them being girls
- 470,000 teachers were trained