fbpx Health in Asia and the Pacific | Asian Development Bank


ADB is working across developing Asia to support improved health care provision for poverty reduction and improved human capital.

  • Health priorities

    Affordable, high-quality health services need to be widely available to ensure no one is impoverished by paying for medical care.

  • COVID-19 pandemic

    Reducing regional vulnerability to pandemics is important. More than 78 million people fell into extreme poverty in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific.

  • Challenges and opportunities

    Government health spending across the lifecycle is a good investment with major social and economic returns.

  • ADB COVID-19 response: Committed amount*

    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, affordable health services are needed to be available for all.

    Note: *Committed amount is the financing approved by ADB's Board of Directors or Management for which the legal agreement has been signed by the borrower, recipient, or the investee company and ADB.

  • Prevalence of food insecurity and undernourishment

    The prevalence of food insecurity is high in Southeast Asian countries

  • Maternal and Under-5 mortality ratio

    In Asia and the Pacific, live birth mortality rates have lessened over the years.

ADB has long recognised the crucial link between health, development, and economic growth. The bank’s priority work in the health sector seeks to improve health infrastructure and systems, governance, workforce, and financing. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the region hard. ADB has committed more than $20 billion in assistance to its DMCs in response to the economic, social, and health costs of the pandemic. In 2020 ADB launched a $9 billion Asia Pacific vaccine facility to ensure the region gets access to affordable vaccines against COVID-19.

More broadly, ADB is working with governments in the pursuit of universal health coverage in the region, which involves prevention and containment of both communicable and noncommunicable diseases. This includes supporting research for rapid and effective diagnosis and treatment. ADB also supports projects and initiatives that help health services become more efficient, accessible, and equitable. Effective public-private partnerships are an important part of this process. Projects that promote wellbeing across the lifecycle (prioritizing mothers, children and the elderly) are a key focus for the bank, given the major social and economic returns.

Our Impact

Results delivered in 2021 from ADB projects.

0 million

People benefitting from improved health, education or social protection


Health services established or improved

Your Questions Answered

  • What role can the private sector be playing in extending quality healthcare, particularly to the poorest, in ADB’s developing member countries?


    ADB is working with the private sector to invest in hospital services and increase delivery in rural and underserved areas. As a significant investor, ADB works with private actors to adopt gender and socioeconomic equity when investing.

  • Is Asia and the Pacific on track to reach its health-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030?


    The COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress in meeting health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 targets. The pandemic severely disrupted health systems and essential health services and derailed progress in raising service coverage for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.

  • How has digitalization and big data impacted on the provision of healthcare in Asia and the Pacific?


    Digital solutions help improve manage patient care, the collection of data for decision making, and track progress toward universal health coverage. Due to necessity during the pandemic, there was a substantial increase in telehealth and telemedicine delivered via digital platforms.