Partnerships critical to overcome COVID-19 crisis: ADB President

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the need for stronger and more strategic partnerships in Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa said at the launch of a new report released on Monday.

“What has become clear is that no one can tackle the COVID-19 crisis alone. We all need to work together,” he said in his message to the ‘Partnership Report 2019: Building Strong Partnerships for Shared Progress.’
“The COVID-19 crisis has not reduced the need for partnerships. On the contrary, it has greatly increased the need for partnerships. Our 2019 report shows that ADB has a strong basis to work from.”

The report details ADB’s co-financing activities in 2019 with bilateral and multilateral institutions, the private sector and other development partners. ADB’s financing partners committed 11.86 billion dollars in 2019 to projects to help advance development in Asia and the Pacific.

Some 4.89 billion dollars of this supported ADB’s sovereign operations. Of this, 4.51 billion dollars comprised loans that ADB partners provided alongside ADB’s own loans.

In addition, ADB mobilised 372 million dollars in grant co-financing last year which allowed technical assistance or other components to be added to ADB’s sovereign projects for the benefit of ADB’s developing members.

Co-financing in ADB’s private sector operations reached 6.97 billion dollars in 2019. For every dollar of ADB’s private sector long-term investments, an additional 1.50 dollars in long-term financing from partners were mobilised.

Working with more than 50 financing partners on 167 projects and other development initiatives, ADB’s partnerships delivered outcomes that would not have been possible without shared resources and collaboration, the report says, from increased cross-border trade and tourism to connecting remote rural communes to the power grid and setting up women to succeed in businesses.

“Even in normal times, strong partnerships are vital for ADB,” said Asakawa. “Bringing along partners enables ADB to provide better solutions and to mobilise more resources to address the complex challenges that our developing member countries face.”

In a recently-held forum on financing for development, Asakawa said that re-building the post-pandemic economy must include green, resilient and inclusive measures, adding that these issues require the mobilisation of even larger financial resources than anticipated before the pandemic.

The report showcases stories that illustrate the concrete impact of ADB’s financing partnerships on the ground and how they are aligned with the seven operational priorities of ADB’s Strategy 2030 and its vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.

It also provides a summary of the different types of financing partnerships that supported ADB’s sovereign operations and identifies newly co-financed projects in 2019.

ADB’s partnerships have been an effective platform to engage its member economies on the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and the identification of new investments that will accelerate progress toward the targets, the report says.

Beyond financing, ADB’s partners share their expertise and experience which helps improve aid effectiveness.

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