Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 2 February priced its first education bond to finance a pool of projects related to the sector, including technical and vocational training, in Asia and the Pacific. The A$75 million (about $57 million) 10-year bond was purchased entirely by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited of Japan and arranged by Credit Agricole CIB.
“We are pleased to announce the issuance of ADB’s first education bond which will help support, among others, our assistance to those among our developing members whose education systems have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem.
An estimated 1.7 billion students worldwide have been affected by school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. ADB is strengthening its effort to expand access to opportunities for high-quality education, including through greater use of distance and online learning; and wider use of digital technologies for scaling equitable learning, training, and teaching with partnerships for expanding access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity.
In January, ADB published COVID-19 and Education in Asia and the Pacific, which calls for developing countries to identify critical policy reforms, such as revamping teacher professional development, and concrete actions to improve the quality, relevance, and inclusion of education systems over the long-term. Framed as the three Rs—Response, Recovery, and Rejuvenation—the note outlines specific responses from the kindergarten level to higher education (K-12), and for technical and vocational education and training. In response to demand from its member countries following COVID-19 and other emerging requirements, ADB’s annual commitment to education is expected to double from $1 billion in 2020 to about $2 billion during 2021–2023. ADB has ongoing investments of over $6 billion in education.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.