ADBs 39th Year of Journey for Human Progress - A Brief Insight


By

Richa Shukla
Research Associate
ICFAI National College
Hyderabad
 


The ADB caters to 46 developing nations across Asia Pacific, which is the most vast and populous region in the world where abject poverty coexist with conspicuous prosperity and where range of development challenges is equally vast.

OBJECTIVE

* Make more people benefit from the country's dynamic growth and to bridge the gap between the rich and poor through robust infrastructural development that ensures and enables environment for large scale private investment and through it substantial job creation.

* Financial assistance aimed at supporting the country in improving its Infrastructure and other segments such as water, transport, energy and urban development. ADB has more than doubled its financial assistance to India from $1.3 billion to more than $2.6 billion.

FOCUS ON THREE CORE AREAS

ADB has identified 3 focus areas-

* Knowledge sharing and training
* Fostering regional network
* Investment in ICT

ICT sector plays a pivotal role in forming a digital bridge among nations. ADB is working towards creating a network that can use ICT across multiple sectors. ADB is also playing a key role in providing technical assistance to foster regional networks that promote knowledge sharing and cultivation of expertise in specified scientific and technical fields. Presently ADB supports 300 regional networks.Eg. Academic and Research network and equity support provided for the Grameen Telecommunication Project in Bangladesh (by Abdul Quadir)

PRESENT SCENARIO

Today explicitly we are witnessing a growing Asia with successful market reforms, flourishing trade, soaring growth rates and improved livelihood of more than 100s of millions of people. However gazing with a sharp eye we can easily witness the unnoticed- 1 in every 5 individuals has no access to safe drinking water, half the population has no sanitation facilities and more than 4 million children will die this year because of non-fulfillment of minimum calorie intake. The primary occupation of the Asian countries being agriculture, regional balance is in danger because of change in occupational distribution due to continuous industrialization thus endangering the livelihood of the poor. Presently, absolute poverty has undoubtedly declined but inequality is on the rise. Thus we see two faces of Asia as put forward by the ADB President during the 39th annual meeting one face demonstrating a rosy picture of Asia and the other face demonstrating the basic bottlenecks pertaining to mass poverty, widening gap between the bourgeois and the proletariat class and widespread intra & interregional disparities.

ONE IMPORTANT FINDING

If the fruits of growth are more equitably distributed then the number of people surviving on less than $1 per day would decline to 100 million by 2015. However, if inequality persists, this figure would rise up to 350 million.

CENTRAL PROBLEMS

* Rising unemployment
* Aging population
* Rapid urbanization
* Widening gap between the rich and the poor

LONG TERM SOLUTIONS

Promote new thinking and collective progress to capitalize on existing opportunities.

QUESTION -Can the poor wait for long term solution?

ANSWER-No

QUESTION-What to do?

ANSWER-Go for medium term policy objectives (Infact ADB has finalized upon these)

MEDIUM TERM SOLUTIONS

* Inclusive social development and sustained equitable growth.
* Focus on good governance.
* Commitment to environmental responsibility.
* Promoting pro poor growth.
* Regional cooperation and integration.

STRATEGIES

* Millennium Development Goals require substantial investment in infrastructure. To meet regions demand for investment, ADB is trying to increase private sector participation through bond market development which would publicize and attract Asian investment opportunities.

* Effective management of scarce water supplies for food security and environment sustainability by increasing investment in water sector to $2 billion.

* Strengthen public finance, remove market distortions, and eliminate corrupt practices.

* ADB working on Energy Efficiency Initiative and has increased investment in clean energy projects to $1billion per year. It has also introduced a Carbon Market Initiative that will address climate change and energy security with significant benefits for both developing and industrialized countries.

* The ADB supported Greater Mekong sub region program, which brings together 5 South East Asian countries with the Peoples Republic of China, is making great strides forward through regional cooperation.

Thus we see that the basic motto of ADB is to create one face of Asia with opportunities open to all and a region devoid of poverty and inequality.
 


Richa Shukla
Research Associate
ICFAI National College
Hyderabad
 

Source: E-mail July 1, 2006

     

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