ADB Loans Jump to $7.4 Billion in 2006, Annual Report Says

Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a total $7.4 billion in loans in 2006, reflecting a 28% increase over the previous year’s level. ”Sustainable economic growth was the most prevalent theme,” said ADB’s latest annual report, in describing the general thrust of the 67 projects supported by the loans approved in 2006. ADB approved 260 technical assistance projects valued at $241.6 million last year, of which 234 were new projects while 26 were supplementary projects. Last year’s technical assistance was 22% higher than the $198.5 million for 299 projects approved in 2005. Of the total technical assistance projects, 73 were for project preparation, 98 were advisory, and 89 were for regional assistance. Of the total amount approved, $92.3 million came from the Technical Assistance Special Fund, $56.6 million from the Japan Special Fund, and the balance from other multilateral and bilateral sources. The annual report said ADB continued to strengthen its results orientation in 2006. Its country strategies are becoming more selective, more responsive to country priorities, and have better monitoring frameworks, the report added. Project design frameworks have improved but more improvement is needed.