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ADB issues $57-million education bond to Asia Pacific nations, including PHL

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has issued its first education bond to help finance distance learning and training needs for students and teachers in the Asia and the Pacific (AsPac) region.

The Manila-based multilateral development bank issued the $57 million worth 10-year bonds. These were all purchased by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited of Japan and arranged by Credit Agricole CIB.

The proceeds of the bond issuance will help finance ADB’s plans of expanding its assistance to the education sector. ADB aims to double its education investment to $2 billion between 2021 and 2023.

“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.

Currently, ADB has ongoing investments of over $6 billion in education. The onset of the pandemic, however, increased demand for education financing from the bank’s developing member-countries (DMCs).

Through the proceeds, ADB hopes to expand access to opportunities for high-quality education, including through greater use of distance and online learning.

ADB added that this can be done through the 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 concretize 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.

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