Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It works closely with secondary cities in Asia and the Pacific to prepare bankable and sustainable infrastructure investments.

Asia Pacific cities are growing faster than their capacity to provide the needs of their growing populations

Cities in Asia and the Pacific are now home to over 50% of the region’s population or an estimated 2.3 billion people. With 1.2 billion new residents expected to be added to Asia and the Pacific cities between now and 2050, significant investments in urban infrastructure and services are needed to address the present and emerging demands. Climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are aggravating the challenges related to infrastructure development, and cities will need to rethink how they should shape their future investments.

In 2017, ADB estimated that developing Asia and the Pacific will need to spend $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure to sustain the region’s growth, eradicate poverty and respond to climate change. This leaves an infrastructure investment gap of $459 billion per year when compared to current levels of investment.

Although estimates specific to urban infrastructure are not available, one can easily see the magnitude of the required investments in cities.

While public and private financing options are available, in reality, many infrastructure projects cannot be linked to finance due to the lack of bankability of these projects and insufficient project development.

The key to making infrastructure happen in cities, therefore, lies in successful project preparation to make the projects attractive for financial institutions to take forward for implementation.

CDIA: Bridging Gaps in Infrastructure Development and Financing

As city governments face the colossal task of providing the necessary infrastructure and services for their growing populations, they need to resolve issues such as where to begin, how to prepare infrastructure projects, and how to make them attractive for financiers.

It is in these aspects that CDIA has found its niche.

CDIA works closely with secondary cities in Asia and the Pacific to provide a range of expertise:

  • preparation of sustainable and bankable infrastructure projects
  • linking cities with funding sources, and
  • strengthening local capacities to develop and implement their high priority investments.

It is a multi-donor trust fund managed by ADB. It receives funding support from Austria, Germany, Republic of Korea, Spain, and Switzerland. To know more about our funders, click here.

CDIA was born in 2007 at the International Conference titled, “Investing in Asia’s Urban Future”, jointly organized by ADB and the German government through its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development or BMZ. The conference was held to determine how new approaches can be used to better the lives of 1.6 billion people in Asia Pacific cities.

Between 2007 and 2017, CDIA was co-managed between ADB and the German government through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In 2018, CDIA officially became an ADB-managed trust fund, and the transition was made to ensure its long-term financial sustainability.

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