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ADB discusses new strategies to fight poverty
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) governing body met in Madrid on Monday to discuss new strategies to fight poverty and better serve its members in the Asia-Pacific region in the next decade.

Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), delivers the opening speech during the annual meeting of the ADB governing body in Madrid, Spain, May 5, 2008. The aim of the two-day meeting opened on May 5 is to discuss new strategies to fight poverty and to better serve its members in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We at ADB have set the stage for powerful change in the way we serve our developing member countries," Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Manila-based bank, said during the two-day annual meeting of the ADB's Board of Governors, its highest policy-making body.

Strategy 2020, recently approved by the bank, focuses on economic expansion without overlooking the needs of the poor. The plan also highlights environmentally sustainable growth and increased regional integration in Asia.

"Our new long-term strategic framework...clearly defines a vision: the vision of an Asia and Pacific free of poverty; a region where the vast majority have joined hands on the path to prosperity," Kuroda said.

Established in 1966, the ADB is an international development finance institution whose mission is to help its developing members in the Asia-Pacific region reduce poverty and improve the quality of life.

However, despite an economic upturn in some countries in recent years, the Asia-Pacific region is still home to two-thirds of the world's poor, with 1.5 billion people, or three times the population of Europe, living on less than two U.S. dollars a day.

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