Overview

  • Over the past 25 years, Mongolia has transformed into a vibrant democracy, tripling its GDP per capita since 1991.  Primary school enrollments are at 97%, coupled with impressive declines in maternal and child mortality (45 and 17 per 1,000 live births, respectively, in 2017). With vast agricultural and mineral resources and an increasingly educated population, Mongolia’s long-term development prospects are promising. 

    Mongolia’s economy has recovered strongly from the brink of a macroeconomic crisis in 2016, but underlying vulnerabilities remain. The economy grew by 7.3 percent in the first half of 2019 and 7.2 percent in 2018, compared to 1.2 percent in 2016. Growth has been driven primarily by robust private consumption, strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, and a revival in mineral exports. Skillful economic management by the government has also contributed to this strong economic recovery. The country’s fiscal stance has improved substantially as the deficit declined from 15.3 percent of GDP in 2016 to a surplus of 2.6 percent in 2018 and 3.4 percent in January-July 2019. Substantial improvements in the fiscal balance contributed to the sharp reduction in government debt in 2017-18. Growth outlook remains positive in 2019 and beyond, mainly driven by private consumption, and mining sector investment. Despite a positive outlook, prudent economic management should continue. Risks to the outlook include political uncertainty, commodity price shocks, cross-border bottlenecks, implementation delay of mega projects, and slower implementation of banking sector reforms.

    During the economic boom experienced after 2010, poverty fell rapidly, but in 2016, as investment and private consumption slowed, Mongolia’s poverty rate rose again to the level of 2012 and has remained stagnant. The national poverty rate of Mongolia was estimated at 28.4 percent in 2018. Little progress in poverty reduction despite the robust economic rebound in the past two years is primarily due to low wages and self-employment income growth, a significant depreciation of the Mongolian tughrik, as well as increased consumer price inflation in the past three years. In addition, further 14.9 percent of the total population live in “near” poverty (between the poverty line and 1.25 times the poverty line) which makes them especially vulnerable to negative shocks.  Mongolia’s poverty concentration continued to grow in urban areas. During the period between 2016 and 2018, the poverty rate declined by 4.1 percentage points in rural areas while it remained unchanged in urban areas where two-thirds of the population live. The share of the poor living in urban areas has increased from 55.2 percent in 2010 to 63.5 percent in 2018, and overall more than 40 percent of Mongolia’s poor lived in Ulaanbaatar in 2018. In the coming years, fiscally sustainable labor and poverty-targeted social protection policies coupled with a positive economic outlook will be key to reducing poverty.

    To ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and to reduce poverty, Mongolia will also 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 an equitable and environmentally friendly manner.

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

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019

  • Mongolia became a member of the World Bank Group in February 1991. Since then, the World Bank has provided more than US$1 billion in development financing to the country. 

    As of September 2019, the Bank's portfolio in Mongolia has total commitments of $351.86 million, comprised of 11 operations financed by IDA/IBRD credits totaling $326.94 million and three active co-financing grants totaling $22.12 million, with two recipient-executed trust fund operations totaling $2.8 million.  

    In addition to the lending and grant operations, 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.

    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 2018, the World Bank Group finalized the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) which identified key development challenges and priorities to eradicate poverty and promote shared prosperity in Mongolia. It is in the process of developing its next Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Mongolia in consultation with the stakeholders in government, private sector, and CSOs. The CPF will guide the WBG’s engagement in Mongolia until 2024 and is planned to be finalized in 2020.

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019

  • Since 1991, IDA has supported Mongolia in a range of areas, such as: rural development, education, Ulaanbaatar’s development, sound management of the mining sector, environmental protection and policy development.

    The overall goal of the rural program in Mongolia 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, 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 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 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.

    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 $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.

    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. 

    In FY20, the Second Economic Management Support Operation (EMSO2)  Development Policy Financing (DPF) was approved with US$100 million financing. The program aims to support the government in restoring debt sustainability, strengthening the social protection system, and enhancing competitiveness.

    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 products include:

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019

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LENDING

Mongolia: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

MULTIMEDIA



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In Depth

Results in Mongolia

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

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.

Stories from Mongolia

Since 1991, the World Bank has provided more than US$800 million in development financing to Mongolia. Here you can learn how the World Bank works in Mongolia.

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Mongolia's Systematic Country Diagnostic

Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCD) identify key challenges and opportunities for a country to accelerate progress towards development objectives.

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