The Asian Development Bank raised its budget for operations last year in an effort to accelerate projects aimed at reducing poverty in the region.
The ADB approved a budget of $21.7 billion, 14.5 percent higher from a year earlier, the Manila-based lender said in a statement on its website accompanying its 2011 annual report. Around $14 billion was financed by the ADB and special funds, while $7.69 billion was funded by its partners, it said.
“Poverty reduction remains the greatest challenge for developing Asia and the Pacific,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said in the report. “Although significant progress has been made in reducing income poverty, large pockets of deprivation remain, and disparities within and across countries continue to grow.”
The ADB, formed in 1966 to improve the welfare of people in Asia and the Pacific, has boosted spending on infrastructure and poverty projects from Laos to Mongolia in the past decade as rising food and commodity prices hurt the region’s poorest.
The bank is currently negotiating with donor countries to fund at least $12 billion required for loans and grants to projects in poor countries from 2013 to 2016.