The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is facing a funding crunch as the lending agency struggles to reduce widespread poverty in emerging market nations and improve ramshackle infrastructure, India warned Saturday.
The Asia-Pacific region, despite boasting the world's fastest-growing economies, is still home to around two-thirds of the world's poor, with some 1.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day.
Member countries of the Manila-based development bank need to consider ways to increase its resources to combat poverty and meet Asia's massive needs for infrastructure and economic growth, India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said.
"The support that the ADB can deliver for economic development and poverty reduction in the region will be seriously constrained by the lack of adequate capital," he told the annual two-day meeting of the ADB's board of governors.
"We may hit the wall (in funding) in about three years," Chidambaram added, noting the amount of lending by Asia's main development bank is expected to decline to $8 billion annually from $10.1 billion.
Some 5,000 delegates attended the two-day annual meeting, held on the outskirts of New Delhi, of the board of governors of the lending agency that offers low-interest loans, grants and other support to fight poverty in Asia.
The ADB's support is also critically important to improving the quality of the region's infrastructure, Chidambaram said, noting Asia needs a "humongous sum" of at least $8 trillion over the next decade to upgrade its ports, roads and other infrastructure in order to fuel growth.
"The ADB has its work cut out," said Chidambaram.