Overview

  • Over the past 25 years, Mongolia has transformed into a vibrant democracy, with three times the level of GDP per capita and increasing school enrolments, and dramatic declines in maternal and child mortality. With vast agricultural and mineral resources and an increasingly educated population, Mongolia’s long-term development prospects are bright. 

    In the near term, the Mongolian economy continues to wrestle with persistent economic imbalances. Economic growth slowed to 1 percent in 2016 amid declining exports from a weakening of the commodity market and slower growth in the key export market of China. The economy has become increasingly reliant on the mining sector—its share of GDP today stands at 20 percent, twice the ratio of a decade ago—and the lack of diversification amplifies the impact of changes in commodity prices. The economy picked up in 2017, primarily on the back of positive developments in the mineral sector, and the growth outlook remains positive for 2017 and 2018. Despite the improving outlook, structural challenges and limited export diversification remain and could amplify the vulnerability of the economy to commodity price or other shocks.

    In the boom years following 2010, poverty fell as the economy grew. Between 2014 and 2016 when the non-mining economy was particularly hit by falling investment and declining private consumption, however, Mongolia’s poverty rate rose again to the level of 2012, a worrying development. Early signs of improvements in household incomes in 2017 and fiscally sustainable labor and social protection policies will be key to reducing poverty in the coming years.

    To ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and reduce poverty, Mongolia will need to strengthen governance; build institutional capacity to manage public revenues efficiently; allocate its resources effectively among spending, investing, and saving; and ensure equal opportunities to all its citizens in urban and rural areas. It needs to do this in a manner which protects the environment and intergenerational equity.

    In 2016, the World Bank Group celebrated the 25th anniversary of Mongolia’s membership in the World Bank, IDA, and IFC.

    Last Updated: Sep 28, 2017

  • Mongolia became a member of the World Bank Group in February 1991. Since then, the World Bank has provided more than US$800 million in development financing to Mongolia. 

    As of September 2017, the Bank's portfolio in Mongolia has total commitments of $267.46 million, composed of 11 operations financed by IDA credits totaling $ 244.7 million and 8 trust funds totaling $ 22.76 million.  

    In addition to the lending and grant operations, the Bank also provides analytical and advisory work to Mongolia to support its medium and long term development objectives and capacity building for the government’s reform strategy in key strategic directions.

    The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Mongolia for 2013-2017 focused on three areas:

    • Enhance Mongolia’s capacity to manage the mining economy sustainably and transparently.
    • Build a sustained and diversified basis for economic growth and employment in urban and rural areas.
    • Address vulnerabilities through improved access to services and better service delivery, safety net provision, and improved disaster risk management.

    In 2017 and 2018, the World Bank Group will work with the government of Mongolia and other stakeholders to plan a new Country Partnership Framework for Mongolia. 

    Last Updated: Sep 28, 2017

  • Since 1991, IDA has supported rural development, education, improving the livability of Ulaanbaatar, ensuring sound management within the mining sector, environmental protection and policy development, among other areas.

    The overall goal of the rural program has been to reduce the vulnerability of herders to pastoral risk as well as to protect and extend gains made to provide relief in cases of climate emergencies, micro-finance, telecommunications and social services to rural residents. 

    Between 2007 and 2013, the Rural Education and Development (READ) Project made learning materials available in rural Mongolia by establishing 3,560 classroom libraries in all 383 rural primary schools. Each school received over 160 books, benefiting a total of 130,000 students. 4,144 rural primary teachers and 383 school directors were trained. A local professional development network has been set up consisting of 95 core schools and 178 mentor teachers.

    The Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access Project (REAP) helped the Government of Mongolia complete its National 100,000 Solar Ger Electrification Program, which provided over half a million nomadic herders with access to electricity through portable solar home systems. The project also helped fund improvements in soum (district) electrification, including rehabilitating mini-grids and installing renewable energy technology hybrid systems to power them.

    In 2006, the Index-Based Livestock Insurance Project was launched initially in four aimags (provinces). In 2010, when another dzud hit Mongolia, it was expanded to cover all 21 aimags. This was the first time such a system was implemented in the world. The project introduced a new insurance scheme where payments are based on the total number of livestock lost by species and soum (district) rather than on households’ actual, individual losses. Since the program started, insurance policies have become more and more popular among herders. Every year there is an increase in the number of policies bought. After the project closed in 2015, the government continued to support index-based livestock insurance. The 2016-2017 sale season was the highest on record.

    Thanks to the Information Communications Infrastructure Development Project (ICIDP), all 330 soum centers (villages) in Mongolia received access to modern phone and Internet services, while 34 soum centers were connected to high speed internet during the project implementation in 2005-2013. Herders started using mobile phones in their day-to-day lives, with telephone call minutes made from outside of soum centers jumping from zero at the project start to about 530,000 annual minutes in 2012. Internet users in and outside soum centers continue to expand today.   

    The government also improved the policy and regulatory environment and promoted investments in ICT in rural areas, which ensured continued additional annual investment in the ICT sector of the country – annual investment increased from $37.6 million in 2005 to $395 million in 2013.  A mechanism has been established to collect resources into a fund to finance universal access to telecommunication and Internet services.

    Improving Primary Education Outcomes for the Most Vulnerable Children in Rural Mongolia Project, funded by the Japan Social Development Fund, targeted rural nomadic herders’ children in 30 soums of four provinces in Mongolia. The project introduced a home-based school preparation program for herders’ children living in remote rural areas. The level of school readiness of the children enrolled in the program has been significantly higher than of those enrolled in other alternative preschool education programs.

    In addition, mobile toy and book libraries have been established in 30 soums, giving parents the opportunity to borrow and use high-quality education materials with their children at home. Extracurricular after-school programs, developed under the project, are helping primary grade rural children better adapt to school and dormitory environments. Overall, more than 7,500 children between 5-10 years, 15,000 parents, 500 teachers and soum officials have benefitted from the project.

    Under the Livestock and Agricultural Management Project (LAMP), the government is improving rural livelihoods and food security through targeted investments to boost productivity, market access and diversification in livestock-based production systems. To date, around 200 subprojects in horticulture, value chain development, livestock health and breeding have been funded under the project, leading to increased household incomes and outputs of livestock products, better nutrition and jobs in 15 soums of 5 western aimags Zavkhan, Khuvsgul, Govi-Altai, Bayankhongor, and Arkhangai. Around 7,000 people have received trainings in livestock health, breeding, nutrition, horticulture, and environment management. The project is being implemented through December 2017. 

    Four new IDA projects were approved in 2016-2017:

    • The Export Development Project aims to support Mongolian small and medium size firms (SMEs) in the non-mining sectors to strengthen their export capabilities and expand access to export markets.
    • The Employment Support Project aims to provide job seekers and micro-entrepreneurs in Mongolia with improved access to labor market opportunities.
    • The Strengthening Fiscal and Financial Stability Project aims to contribute to the government of Mongolia’s efforts to strengthen fiscal and financial stability and improve the quality of expenditure management.
    • The Second Energy Sector Project aims is to improve reliability and sustainability of electricity services in Mongolia, and includes the rehabilitation of distribution networks in two regional distribution networks, as well as support to the national power transmission grid, and investments on construction of grid-connected solar photo voltaic power generation capacity outside of the central energy system.

    In addition to projects, the World Bank also provides technical assistance and produces analytical reports to help inform policy and stimulate public debate. Recent products include:

    Last Updated: Sep 28, 2017

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Poverty & Equity Data for Mongolia

Is there more or less inequality in Mongolia now than 10 years ago? Did poverty go up or down? Our data portal has the answers.

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Open Data for Mongolia

The World Bank provides free and open access to a comprehensive set of development data in countries around the globe, including Mongolia....

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Results in Mongolia

Take a look at the results the World Bank-supported projects have achieved in Mongolia.

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Open Knowledge Repository

The official open access repository for the World Bank's research outputs and knowledge products.

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Ulaanbaatar, +(976) 7007 8200
5th Floor, MCS Plaza Building, Seoul Street-4, Ulaanbaatar-210644
Washington, 202-473-4709
Washington DC
eastasiapacific@worldbank.org