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BRIEF Oct 22, 2021

Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts on Households in Mongolia


Results from Mongolia COVID-19 Household Response Phone Survey

While Mongolia has taken early and decisive measures to prevent the inflow and outbreak of COVID-19, household-level shocks caused by COVID-19 can be long-lasting and disproportionally hit the poor and vulnerable the hardest, creating an urgent need for timely data collection to help monitoring and mitigating the socio-economic impacts of the shock.

To monitor the household-level impacts of COVID-19, the National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSO) and the World Bank have implemented a joint COVID-19 Household Response Phone Survey (HRPS). The HRPS drew a subsample of 2,000 households from the nationally representative 2018 Household Socio-Economic Survey (HSES) and has monitored and collected information from the same households across multiple rounds. This presentation summarized key findings of the 5th round of the survey that was implemented from June 14 to 23, 2021 and compared the results to previous rounds. The Round 1 survey was implemented from May 22 to 29, 2020, Round 2 survey from August 31 to September 7, 2020, Round 3 survey from December 3 to 14, 2020, and Round 4 survey from April 19 to 30, 2021. The data collection of the Rounds 4 and 5 survey was financially supported by the Asian Development Bank.

Key findings (Round 5): presentation

  • Employment (work stoppages) slightly worsened between April and June 2021, particularly among the poor and women
    • Among all respondents who worked pre-pandemic, 37 percent were out of work by Round 5 (June 2021), 6 percentage points more than in Round 4 (April 2021)
    • Between Rounds 4 and 5, women’s work stoppage increased by 10 percentage points to 42 percent, while there is no significant change for men (27 percent). Among female respondents who were out of work in Round 5, more than 70 percent reported no jobs to return to, signaling potentially long-term or permanent job losses for women
    • Workers in the bottom 40 percent of households were 10 percentage points more likely than the top 60 workers to stop working in Round 5, indicating setbacks for equal recovery across welfare groups
  • Significantly more non-farm businesses re-opened after the April 2021 lockdown, showing signs of recovery in business incomes
    • Between Rounds 4 and 5, the share of non-farm businesses that were fully open increased from 18 to 65 percent
    • In Round 5, business incomes saw the most recovery since last September (Round 2). Nearly 3 in 10 businesses reported higher or similar incomes relative to pre-pandemic, which is more than a twofold increase from Rounds 3 (Dec 2020) and 4 (April 2021)
  • Agricultural households had continuous improvements in Round 5, but rising input prices remain a concern for herders and farmers
  • While a recovery in total household income was seen between April and June, 3 in 10 households were still making less than what they had been pre-pandemic and magnitudes of income losses are not trivial
  • Poor households are more likely than the non-poor to reduce non-food consumption and take harmful coping strategies which increased indebtedness or involved the sale of assets, raising concerns of potential long-term impacts on household wellbeing
  • Child Money Program (CMP) benefits helped mitigate adverse effects of income shocks. The poor mostly spent cash benefits for purchasing food while half of non-poor recipients saved them
    • 90 percent of CMP beneficiaries reported CMP has contributed to mitigating adverse shocks completely or partially
    • More than 70 percent of respondents agreed that the government’s COVID-19 social protection responses reached the poorest people who needed support during the pandemic
  • The poor and those affected by the pandemic are less likely to access sufficient, healthy and diverse foods
    • The poor and households with pandemic-induced income losses are 8-26 percentage points more likely to be moderately food insecure, increasing potential long-term risks of child malnutrition and productivity among these families
  • Due to the surge of delta variant, 1 in 5 households who needed medical treatment could not receive it
    • The urban-rural gap in access to health care services has narrowed since April but still 19 percent of households could not receive treatment immediately, mainly due to fears of COVID-19 infection and full capacity at hospital facilities
  • Since April, 1 in 4 households with loans were not able to repay on-time
    • Particularly, poor households with loans are 5 percentage points more likely than the non-poor to be unable to make scheduled repayments

 Contact Information

Ikuko Uochi