Microfinance in Asia with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Founded in 1966, The goal of the Asian Development Bank is to provide financial support to those living in poverty across Asia Pacific countries. The people that live there don't have access to things that humans need to survive. These essentials include goods, assets, services and opportunities. We are talking about approximately 1.8 billion people who live in poverty.

Microfinance and ADB

ADB believe that by having access to microfinance, poor people living in the Asia Pacific countries could improve their lives. So ADB uses microfinance to get them out of poverty. Out of 180 million people who live in the region, 90% still don’t have financial access from institutions. Most formal institutions deny aid to the poor because investing in them is a high risk, there are high costs for small transactions and the poor are not able to provide marketable collateral for loans. However, ADB do ensure permanent access to financial institutions.

Microfinance Sources

Formal Microfinance Institutions
These institutions provide loans to lower-income individuals.

Semi-Formal Microfinance Institutions
These institutions provide micro-sized loans

Informal Microfinance Sources
These are shopkeepers and money lenders who make loans on a daily basis and charge a very high interest rate.

Some Key Facts About ADB and Asia Pacific

-Since 2000, the region has had constructions of thousands of health clinics, roads, bridges and schools. This provides opportunities for people to beat poverty.
-There are professionals who work together with banks to help reduce poverty. Some of them include sociologists, engineers and environmental scientists.
-There have been 660,000 teachers trained over the last six years.
-There have been over 135,000 classrooms built or upgraded over the last six years.


Since 1990, poverty in the Asia Pacific has been reduced to the point where access to sanitation doubled in rural areas and household incomes drastically increased. However, parts of the region still live in poverty. Still, more than 2/3 of the world's poorest population live there, more than 900 million of them live in extreme poverty, 700 million of them have no access to electricity, almost 2 billion of them live without basic sanitation, almost 1/2 billion of them have no access to safe drinking water. Thus, moving forward, the goal of ADB is to help all Asia Pacific countries break free from poverty.