MANILA – The Philippines has announced that it is making its first-ever contribution to the grant fund of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) intended for the most vulnerable and least developed members of the Manila-based multilateral institution.
The country’s contribution to the Asian Development Fund (ADF) will be announced during a pledging session to be held on the sidelines of the ADB’s 53rd Annual Meeting set in May this year in Incheon City in South Korea, Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement issued on Sunday.
He said contributing to the ADF will prove beneficial to the Philippines and the rest of the Asia-Pacific, given that the growth of least developed countries (LDCs) will provide the Philippines and the rest of the region with new potential markets to further bolster domestic economic expansion as well as regional growth.
The Philippines’ contribution to the ADF comes at a crucial time when assistance from ADB’s European partners may be possibly reduced, he said.
Since the Philippines’ graduation from ADF assistance in 1999, the Philippines has yet to contribute to the replenishment of the Fund.
“Now, as we move to the upper middle-income status, the country is poised to extend help to the LDCs, including some of our neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the Pacific,” Dominguez said, adding the Philippines is expected this year to rise to upper middle-income status ahead of schedule.
The pledging session for ADF 13 scheduled on May 2 will be the 12th time that the ADF will be replenished since it was established in 1974.
The ADF’s total replenishments has reached USD4.01 billion, inclusive of USD2.59 billion in donors’ contributions.
The ADB’s ADF grant facility aims to promote poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life of people in LDCs of the Asia-Pacific region.
It is specifically dedicated to support ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing members.
ADB has said it is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. (iam/sovereignph.com/Xinhua)