Australia and the Asian Development Bank

Australia’s contributions to the Asian Development Fund

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Asian Development Fund (ADF) is the oldest and largest of their special funds. It is a multilateral source of concessional assistance, designed to provide loans on concessional terms and grants to ADB’s developing member countries that have low incomes per capita and limited or low creditworthiness. The fund supports activities that promote poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life in the poorer countries of the Asia and the Pacific. (More details available on ADB’s website)

The ADB holds regular pledging rounds to replenish the ADF, typically every three years.

In the most recent replenishment, for the period 2016-2020, Australia pledged $468.54 million, making it the second largest donor to the ADF, behind Japan. Australia’s ‘burden share’ (share of the total ADF pledges) was 11 per cent, while Japan’s was 35 per cent. 

The 2016-2020 replenishment [pdf] attracted $3.78 billion in commitments. Donor contributions to the ADF during this replenishment were cut by about 50%, indicating the belief of donors that Asian countries will require less aid going forward. Consistent with this, Australia’s own contribution declined by 25%. ADB’s decision to merge its concessional and non-concessional financing arms will prevent a loss in total lending from the ADB to countries that access its concessional finance, the big cut in funding notwithstanding.

The replenishment prior was for the period 2013-2016 and gathered US $12.4 billion in commitments. It was finalised in 2012. Australia pledged $629 million over the three years, again the second largest donor behind Japan. Australia’s burden share was 9%.

In 2009-2012 replenishment [pdf], Australia’s contribution was $333 million, with a burden share of 6.5% – making it the third largest contributor behind Japan and the US.

The chart below shows Australia’s contributions and pledges since 2001.