ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) operations-comprising approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance, and co-financing-reached an all-time high of $27.15 billion in 2015, an increase of about 19% over $22.89 billion in 2014, according to provisional figures released on Friday.

According to a press release received here on Friday from Manila, Philippines, ADB’s approvals of loans and grants, sovereign (governments) and non-sovereign (primarily private sector), reached a record $16.58 billion – a 23% increase from 2014. Technical assistance amounted to $144 million and co-financing increased by 13% to a record $10.43 billion in 2015. Out of the $16.58 billion, sovereign loan and grant approvals increased by 21% to $13.95 billion in 2015.

Non-sovereign approvals made a big leap from $1.92 billion in 2014 to $2.63 billion in 2015. In addition to a volume increase, ADB increased its allocation to the poorest countries to 40% of non-sovereign approvals. To expedite small non-sovereign transactions, ADB introduced a fast-track approval process.

Unless loans and grants are disbursed, they will have no impact on development. In 2015, total disbursements of loans and grants reached a record $12.34 billion, an increase of 21% over the previous year.

“Our record performance last year reflected strong and growing demand from the Asian and Pacific region,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said. “Infrastructure and other development needs are huge and poverty remains pervasive despite the region’s robust growth performance.”

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