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 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 (2020-2024) 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 and 1,700 healthcare professionals were trained on COVID-19 prevention, of which 85 percent were female.
The Mongolia Employment Support Project (2017-2022) provided jobseekers and micro-entrepreneurs in Mongolia with improved access to labor market opportunities and temporary relief to eligible workers in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The project enhanced the effectiveness of public employment services through re-development of the public employment service portal and physical renovation of 14 local employment offices, provisioned microloans to 1,400 micro-entrepreneurs, and piloted innovative solutions to boost employment opportunities for 2,100 individuals. It also supported the Government of Mongolia’s relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic by financing the full and partial exemption from social insurance contribution payment. Between 2020 and 2021, around 133,000 participants in the voluntary social insurance scheme, including self-employed workers, microentrepreneurs, and informal workers, benefitted from it for at least six months.
The Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP III, 2016-2023) 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 (LDF, 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 as of 2023, and significant improvements were seen in citizens’ voice in selection of investments. The LDF has provided US$276 million financing over 41,000 sub-projects directly benefiting 320,000 rural residents, and it has invested in strengthening the capacity of 32,000 civil servants.
The Mongolia Smart Government Project (2015-2022) provided the government with critical digital enablers to transform its public administration and improve its public services to citizens and businesses. The project built and strengthened foundational digital infrastructure and services for use by government agencies, including the country’s national and disaster recovery data centers, national enterprise architecture, and national E-Mongolia portal. Additionally, the project delivered 72 online public services from various agencies. These critical digital enablers helped the Government of Mongolia (GoM) to achieve remarkable success in providing public services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project also improved the GoM’s responsiveness and transparency, enhanced 11-11 call center for citizens to access and track the status and resolution of their feedback, and developed a centralized Open Data Portal to make government datasets available to the public.
Under the Livestock and Agricultural Management Project (2013-2017), 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.
Improving Primary Education Outcomes for the Most Vulnerable Children in Rural Mongolia Project (2012-2017), 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. At the time of the closing of the project, the level of school readiness of the children enrolled in the program was assessed to be 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 during the project implementation.
Index-Based Livestock Insurance Project (2006-2016) 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.
Governance Assistance Project (2006-2014) 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.
Under the Information Communications Infrastructure Development Project (2006-2013), 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 led to 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.
The Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access Project (2007-2012) 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 finance improvements in soum (district) electrification, including rehabilitating mini-grids and installing renewable energy technology hybrid systems to power them.
Development Policy Operations
Second Economic Management Support Development Policy Operation (2020) helped Mongolia to consolidate the adjustment already achieved, address some of the long-standing structural weaknesses and distortions in the economy, and anchor macroeconomic policies going into an election year. In addition, it helped create fiscal space by substituting high-cost, short-term domestic borrowing with relatively more concessional and long-term external assistance.
First Economic Management Support Operation (2018) was the first of three Development Policy Financing (DPF) operations in a programmatic series. The objective of the DPF is to support the Government of Mongolia in restoring debt sustainability, strengthening the social protection system, and enhancing competitiveness. Along with operations from other development partners, it supports a set of reform measures to stabilize Mongolia’s economy and move it towards a sustainable development path.
Mongolia Economic Update (2023) projected economic growth to accelerate to 5.2 percent, driven by a rapid recovery in mining production resulting from the removal of border restrictions and the commencement of the OT underground mining stage, and by the continued services sector recovery from the pandemic.
Mongolia Jobs Diagnostic (2022) aimed to generate evidence that will inform policies that create more and better jobs in Mongolia while moving toward a more diversified economy. Sustained economic growth and increased labor productivity across the economy over the past two decades have resulted in the creation of better jobs for more people in the country. Overarching employment challenge in Mongolia is to create more and better jobs than have been created during the past decade; this calls for a multisectoral jobs strategy that drives private sector development.
Mongolia Business Environment and Competitiveness Assessment (2022) report is a call to arms for a new approach to business and investment climate reform and private sector development in Mongolia. Despite significant progress in the last decade, Mongolia needs to strengthen the business enabling environment for a level-playing field and a more productive private sector beyond mining.
Mongolia Poverty Update (2022): Mongolia made notable strides in reducing poverty from 2010 to 2014, but the pace of poverty reduction slowed significantly after the 2016 economic recession. The trend of declining inequality and inclusive growth seen in the first half of the decade changed course in the latter half.
Mongolia InfraSAP : Infrastructure for Connectivity and Economic Diversification (2020) presented a more sophisticated approach which incorporates strategic value chain analysis and disaggregated modeling of freight movements, and then targets infrastructure investment for amplified impact. In this approach, infrastructure is located at the highest concentrations of economic activity and is developed as part of an integrated national logistics system. This surgical approach informs more targeted policy decisions on how to use scarce resources to accelerate economic diversification and competitiveness while addressing institutional bottlenecks.
Mongolia Economic Memorandum: Mines and Minds (2020) estimated that out of every dollar in mineral revenues Mongolia has generated over the past 20 years, only one cent has been saved for future generations. The report argued that to break this cycle, Mongolia should use its mineral wealth to invest in people and institutions, while gradually reducing its dependence on the sector. The report recommended key policy actions to build the foundation of a diversified and sustainably growing economy.
Understanding the Causal Factors in the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy in Mongolia (2020) explored factors that are most important in the large difference in mortality between men and women and behavioral factors. The focus was on norms and behaviors of men, with the output expected to help inform World Bank operations. In particular, the study sought to inform the next phase of the Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP3).
Last Updated: Oct 13, 2023