Mongolia became a member of the World Bank in February 1991, and the World Bank celebrated the 30th anniversary of Mongolia’s membership in 2021. Since 1991, IDA has supported Mongolia in a range of areas, including rural development, education, Ulaanbaatar’s development, sound management of the mining sector, environmental protection, and policy development. Over the last three decades, the World Bank has provided over US$1.6 billion in development financing to the country.
In addition to the lending operations and grants, the Bank also provides analytical and advisory services to Mongolia to support its medium- and long-term development objectives and to build the capacity for formulating and implementing strategic reforms.
Mongolia COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness project provided comprehensive support to strengthen Mongolia’s COVID-19 response and preparedness. Financing for the national vaccination program helped purchase and deliver two doses of vaccines to nearly half of the eligible population while also ramping up storage facilities across the country. More than 6,100 pieces of medical equipment were provided to hospitals to prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19.
The Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP) improved governance and community participation for the planning and delivery of priority local infrastructure investments in all 330 rural soums in Mongolia. Building on the two previous phases, the third phase has helped support participatory approaches in rural development through the Local Development Fund (created with support from SLP I and II projects)– a key source from the budget for investment funding for aimags and soums. With the support of the project, overall performance of soum governments in participatory planning and project implementation improved by more than 30 percent since 2015, and significant improvements were seen in citizens’ voice in selection of investments.
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, and 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 three aimags (provinces). In 2010, when another dzud (severe winter) hit Mongolia, the project was expanded to cover all 21 aimags. This was the first time such a system was implemented in Mongolia or anywhere else in the world, 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, with purchased policies increasing each year. 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.
Under the Livestock and Agricultural Management Project (LAMP), the government has improved rural livelihoods and food security through targeted investments to boost productivity, market access, and diversification in livestock-based production systems. More than 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 training in livestock health, breeding, nutrition, horticulture, and environment management. The project was implemented through December 2017.
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 daily lives, and telephone call minutes made from outside of soum centers jumped from zero at the start of the project to about 530,000 annual minutes in 2012. The rate of Internet users in and outside soum centers continues to expand.
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 US$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. 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.
Governance Assistance Project (GAP), implemented from 2006–2014 with US$14 million financing, helped improve the efficiency and effectiveness of governance processes in the management of public finances, promote transparency and accountability in the performance of public sector functions, and foster the investment climate in Mongolia. The project was designed around five principal intervention areas: debt management, budget execution, tax administration, public procurement, and mineral resource management.
Overall, the project contributed to an improved investment climate, reduced corruption, and increased government accountability as reflected in improved perceptions of corruption in tax administration and public procurement, expanded taxpayer registration, better public access to budget information, and increased competition in procurement. It also contributed to building capacity on core government functions.
In addition to lending projects, the World Bank also provided technical assistance and produced analytical reports to help inform policy and stimulate public debate. Recent research includes:
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2022