COVID-19, News

A Summary of Covid-19 Relief and Support Received by Mongolia

05 · Aug · 2020

By Namuun Purevdorj

 

Mongolia has received nearly USD 562.4million in grants and loans from local and international organizations for Covid-19 response needs.

 

A recent Harvard study found that Covid-19 mortality rates were significantly higher in areas with long-term air pollution exposure. In Mongolia, over 50% of the population lives in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, dubbed as “the city with the most hazardous air in the world”. The intersectionality between hazardous pollution levels and the pandemic makes it critical for the healthcare sector, the government, and citizens to work together to implement proper testing and safety measures and allocate the necessary human and financial resources responsibly.  

One of Breathe Mongolia’s main objectives is to act as a watchdog and encourage the public to demand action from decision-makers. This review of the monetary support received from local and international actors to mitigate Covid-19 risks in Mongolia aims to hold the relevant stakeholders accountable to providing the public a comprehensive and transparent reporting of the use of funds. 

Please see the below graph for more details. This list is not an exhaustive account of all the funds received to date and will be updated frequently to reflect additional funding received.

As of September 2020, Mongolia has received an estimated USD $563.40 million in support from The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asia Development Bank, the European Union, US AID,  and Oyu Tolgoi LLC, governments and international agencies as well as from international and Mongolian individual donors.

The Bank of Mongolia received the majority of the funds, an estimated USD $99 million, to help meet urgent budgetary and balance of payment needs.

The World Bank granted approximately USD $30 million, of which $27 million was allocated to the  Mongolia Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project (Ministry of Finance). On May 15, the World Bank reprioritized $15 million in resources from the ongoing Employment Support Project to support the Mongolian government’s effort in providing social insurance relief for self-employed individuals, micro-entrepreneurs, and the informally employed population. 

In June, the World Bank approved an additional USD $20 million credit for the Mongolia Emergency Relief and Employment Support Project, which will provide temporary social insurance relief for eligible employers and their workers and improve access to labor market opportunities. Additionally, in April,  the European Union and the World Bank provided an estimated $735 thousand in grants to the Mongolian Ministry of Finance. 

The World Bank also allocated $5 million in funds from its Education Quality Reform Project towards helping the government’s Child Money Program. The Program helps minimize the secondary impacts of Covid-19 by providing families with social assistance for children’s health and nutrition. 

The European Union (EU) has provided a total of USD $104 million in financial assistance to Mongolia. On May 29, the EU signed a financing agreement of 50.8 million Euros (USD $59.8 million) through the EU Budget Support Programme. The financial assistance will aid the Government of Mongolia to implement reforms in the employment policy and public finance management sectors. Moreover, on July 21, the European Union decided to divert an additional 37.5 million Euros (USD $44.2 million) to aid Mongolia’s Covid-19 response.

The Asia Development Bank provided USD $1.4 million in mid-March and an additional USD $1 million in late-March, largely for the purchase of diagnostic equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). In mid-May, ADB also approved a USD $100 million loan to mitigate the serious economic and health impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable people and businesses in Mongolia.

Further,  on May 7th, the ADB provided $30 million USD in loans for the Fifth Health Sector Project to strengthen Mongolia’s preparedness and response. An additional $26.4 million was approved on June 22 to support the most vulnerable women and children. 

ADB notes how this extra financing will increase the coverage of sterilization departments nationwide for all secondary and tertiary hospitals, boost the hospitals’ capacity to diagnose and treat Covid-19, and help establish a centralized warehouse to manage stockpiles of medicines and medical devices. On September 3, an additional $1.5 million in grants from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) was approved by the ADB to boost medical services and resources. 

The Ministry of Finance also received $1.2 million in funds from US AID for assistance in preparing laboratory systems.

The Government of Japan committed over USD 9.4 million toward promoting economic and social stability and an additional USD 2.4 million toward human development programs amid the pandemic. In mid-June, Germany agreed to grant over USD 1.1 million to assist in the purchase of additional medical equipment and PPE. Similarly, the Government of China, on March 28, provided over 320 million tugriks(USD $114 million) worth of PPE and diagnostic equipment.

Locally, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a copper and gold mining company in Mongolia, committed over USD $163 thousand to aid the Covid-19 relief work by the Ministry of Finance.

Additionally, on June 28th, The HU, an internationally renowned Mongolian rock band, took part in a televised and live-streamed charity concert to support the State Emergency Commission of Mongolia, raising over $24  thousand from the Mongolian and international public, of which over $19 thousand dollars was raised by the Mongolian people.

 

This article was last updated on September 21, 2020 with the latest information on funds.

 

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