Many countries in the Asia region met their MDG targets ahead of the 2015 deadline. Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living on US$1.25 a day or less fell by more than two-thirds, as did the proportion of those without access to safe drinking water. Nearly all primary-aged children now complete school, and students at all levels of education benefit from gender parity. In certain instances, where some goals have been met, there is still much progress to be made, and several goals continue to lag behind. For instance, the rates of under-five and infant mortality fell short of the required two-thirds reduction, but managed to pass the 50% mark. To maintain the momentum for the SDGs, the region will need to address three key areas: mobilizing the necessary financial resources; extending technology to all; and building statistical systems that can monitor the progress of the poorest segment of the population.
OFID has longstanding ties with its Asian partners, a constituency that has grown to number 40 countries spread across the development spectrum. In 2015, the region attracted a 29% share of total committed resources for the year, receiving US$346.6m in fresh funding for operations in 22 countries. More than one-half of the resources (US$197.1m) was approved in favor of the financial sector.
In terms of the financial mechanisms deployed, around 50% (US$177m) was committed in support of cross-border trade, with Turkey notably benefiting from a total of some US$92m in four separate transactions. Public sector activities accounted for 27% (US$92m) of approvals to the region and comprised primarily projects in the areas of transportation and water supply and sanitation. Through the private sector window, US$70m was committed in favor of MSME development in Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. The region also secured a decent share of the grant funding approved in 2015, receiving US$7.4m, or 35% of the total. Palestine was the biggest beneficiary, receiving US$4.6m for seven projects. Three emergency grants went to support vulnerable populations affected by the crisis in Syria.