The Asian Development Bank

Publication Date: February 2004

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Banking and finance



The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral development finance institution based in Manila, Philippines. Founded in 1966, the ADB has 44 Asian members, as well as 17 non-Asian members. The ADB makes both market rate and concessional loans, mostly to its 40 so-called developing member countries (DMCs). In the late 1990s, the Bank proclaimed poverty reduction as the key focus of the ADB, reflecting a significant shift in ADB lending from an early preference towards economic infrastructure projects.

The United States is a founding member of the ADB and Congress periodically authorizes and appropriates funds for both the ADB and Asian Development Fund (ADF) through the annual Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Though some U.S. observers believe that the ADB is becoming redundant, mirroring the World Bank's lending activities, others believe that the ADB is a necessary regional institution that advances U.S. interests. The Bush Administration has pressed for active U.S. involvement in the ADB as well as the other multilateral development banks (MDBs). This report will be updated as events require.