The idea of formation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) was conceived in 1960s with a mission to fight poverty in Asia and the Pacific. A resolution was passed in 1963 that set the vision on the way to becoming reality.
ADB was opened on 19 December 1966 with 31 members and Takeshi Watanabe from Japan was ADB’s first President. It set up in Manila, Philippines so which is its headquarters. ADB’s all presidents are from Japan.
ADB has now 67 members of which 48 are from the Asia and Pacific region. India joined ADB in 1966. ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
The way ADB provided its assistance to the countries in need:
- During the 1960s, ADB focused much of its assistance on food production and rural development.
- When the world suffered its first oil price shock, ADB increased its support for energy projects.
- In 1974, ADB provided low-interest loans to ADB’s poorest members.
- In the wake of the second oil crisis, ADB continued its support to infrastructure development.
- In 1982, ADB opened its first field office—in Bangladesh—to bring operations closer to the people in need.
- In 1997 financial crisis in Asia, ADB provided support financial sectors and create social safety nets for the poor.
- In 2003, when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic hit the region, ADB provided support at national and regional levels to help the countries.
- ADB also helped India, Indonesia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka when these were hit by the December 2004 Asian tsunami by providing more than $850 million for recovery.