ADB’s back for Rail and Urban Transport touches $38.2 billion

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) assistance to Asia and the Pacific’s transport sector has helped to increase domestic connectivity and economic efficiency in the region states a report released by ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department (IED).

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES (Metro Rail News): The Asian Development Bank’s assistance to Asia and the Pacific’s transport sector has helped to increase domestic connectivity and economic efficiency in the region states a report released by ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department.

ADB Support for Transport released on 16th of March 2020, assesses the appearance and results of ADB’s support for this sector in 2010–2018. Transport area that covers the road, rail, and different subsectors like multimodal logistics, air, transportation policies and institutional development and water transport are one of ADB’s largest portfolios constituting nearly a 3rd of its existing total lending.

Throughout the evaluation period, ADB’s guide for the sector totalled $38.2 billion. Of this, non-urban road constituted urban transport at $5.9 billion (15.4%), $26.4 billion (69%), and rail at $3.7 billion (9.6%).

The ADB’s priority when the evaluation period was financing transport infrastructure but there was insufficient attention to delivering sustainable transport services like safety, accessibility, affordability, and environmental impression, as per the report.

Noticeable positive issues of ADB support were improved domestic connectivity and reduced travel time. The report highlights the rising demand for mobility and freight moves in the Asia and Pacific region, requiring quality infrastructure standards and affordable operations that are sustainable, safe, and environment friendly.

According to the report observations that for the region to maximize the value of current transport networks, funds to maintain existing transport infrastructure would be as necessary as the new investments. Director-General of the Independent Evaluation Department, Marvin Taylor stated that the cost of maintaining infrastructure is not given enough attention when assessing potential infrastructure investment. For increased sustainability, Asia requires more extra efforts on maintaining transport infrastructure as well as new investments.

ADB expects the costs of meeting the improved demand for transport infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific to be higher than $500 billion per year. Investments in the sector so far have mainly originated from public funds along with only a small share coming from the private area.

IED Director of ADB, Nathan Subramaniam stated that the Public funds alone cannot finance that much amounts. As of now the private area participation has been controlled but eventually they will have to step up and improve it’s investments. Removing barriers and constraints and applying innovative plan is key to attracting private field investment.

Report suggests that ADB rebalance their focus among transport infrastructure and services and align future area directional guidance with ADB Strategy 2030, including a clear consideration of the various requirements of their developing member countries in terms of financial support and technical assistance.

ADB should more strengthen their efforts to mainstream international agendas, like climate change, social sustainability, road safety and regional integration and co-operation by promoting accessible, safe, affordable, and environment-friendly transport systems. The report advocates the application of a comprehensive and cross-sectoral approach and usage of all lending modalities available to ADB to achieve these results.

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