ADB to provide $14 billion to ease food crisis in Asia-Pacific

The Asian Development Bank said Tuesday said it will provide $14 billion to countries in the Asia-Pacific region through 2025 to help ease their food crisis amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine that has disrupted supplies of food and fertilizers.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said at the Manila-based bank's annual meeting started the previous day that the assistance is an urgently needed response to the crisis, which is "leaving too many poor families in Asia hungry and in deeper poverty."

Nearly 1.1 billion people lack healthy diets due to poverty and soaring food prices, the bank said in a statement, adding a global food system had already been weakened by climate change and the coronavirus pandemic before being further strained by the Russian War in Ukraine.

Last week, the ADB revised down its growth forecast from 5.2 percent to 4.3 percent for 2022 and 5.3 percent to 4.9 percent for 2023 for developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asakawa told reporters Tuesday that "growing challenges" resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aggressive monetary tightening in advanced economies and currency depreciation, among others, are reasons for the downgraded forecast.

The five-day meeting is being held in a hybrid in-person and virtual format.

© Kyodo News