ADB seeks more funds amid donor disquiet


Posted at Feb 05 2009 05:40 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2009 01:40 AM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is seeking an expansion in its capital base to lend more to members, but donor nations are pressing for more reform within the bank and maintenance of environmental and other safeguards.

Here are some facts about the ADB:

* Founded in 1966 to help fight poverty in Asia, the Manila-headquartered bank is owned and financed by its 67 member countries, of which 48 are from the region and 19 are from other parts of the globe.

* The bank's president is traditionally from Japan, the lender's biggest donor along with the United States.

* The ADB provides low interest loans, guarantees, grants, private sector investments and expertise to boost the livelihoods of about 2 billion people in the region who still live on less than $2 a day.

* In 2007, the bank made $10.1 billion worth of loans, 37 percent higher than the previous year. More than 50 percent of the loans went to infrastructure projects.

* Pakistan, Vietnam, India and China, were the biggest borrowers in 2007.

* In 2008, the bank adopted a long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, which followed three agendas: inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.

* As of end-2007, the bank had 2,443 employees, including around 850 international staff, mostly at its headquarters in Manila. Japan had the highest number of international staff, followed by the United States and India.