New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB), on Wednesday reported that it lent USD 17.51 billion in financing operations previous year to assist its developing member countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals.

According to ADB's 2010 Annual Report, the multilateral lending agency approved USD 15.50 billion for investment support, USD 1.68 billion on policy-based support, and USD 327
million for technical assistance.

In addition, ADB's ongoing Trade Finance Program supported USD 2.77 billion in trade, the international lender said in a statement.

"As the region moves beyond economic recovery to sustained growth, it must ensure that the evolving growth paradigm becomes more inclusive to benefit as many people as possible," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said in the report.

Asia and Pacific region remains home to millions of the absolute poor and as per an ADB study, 14 out of 20 developing Asian economies saw their Gini coefficient — a measure of
inequality — increase in recent years as economic growth accelerated.

According to the report, developing Asia must rebalance growth to reduce reliance on external markets. The region must promote public-private partnerships to meet its infrastructure needs and ensure that development is inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

"The historic Millennium Declaration of 2000 promised a better life for millions of poor in Asia and the Pacific. How well this promise is fulfilled depends on our steadfast efforts," Kuroda added.

In 2010, ADB approved three operational plans for climate change, sustainable transport, and education.

For the year ended 2010, ADB and its special funds provided USD 13.84 billion in financing, of which USD 11.46 billion was for 118 loans, USD 243 million for 8 equity investments, USD 982 million for 40 grant projects, USD 982 million for 5 guarantees, and USD 176 million for 243 technical assistance projects.

(Agencies)