MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $163.7 million for the building of better roads, installation of more effective water supply and sewerage systems, and the provision of heating services in Ulaanbaatar to help upgrade basic urban infrastructure and services in in peri-urban areas of Ulaanbaatar, also known as ger areas, where a majority of the city’s poor residents live.
“This program will support Ulaanbaatar in creating a network of well-developed subcenters to provide jobs, housing, and economic opportunities, as well as a sustainable living environment, for the residents,” said Diwesh Sharan, Director of Urban and Social Sectors Division at ADB’s East Asia Department.
Living conditions in ger areas can be harsh. The lack of long-term planning, infrastructure investment, and land use regulation have resulted in haphazard development, limited availability of space for public facilities, poor access to services, polluted environment, reduced livelihood opportunities, and unsafe neighborhoods. With recent rapid economic growth, the population in the ger areas has also grown to an estimated 800,000 people, representing 60% of Ulaanbaatar, or 30% of the country’s population.
Improving the infrastructure within ger area subcenters and connecting them to the city core is critical for inclusive growth and for greater movement of people and goods.
The project aims to improve access to water, sanitation, and heating services by 2024 for around 50% of the population in the project areas and will contribute to reduce to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases will by 50%, and air pollution in Ulaanbaatar by 30%.
The program will be sourced from the concessional Asian Development Fund and the ordinary capital resources and disbursed in three tranches over nine years. The first tranche will be cofinanced by the Urban Environmental Infrastructure Fund under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility administered by ADB. The other tranches will be financed by other ADB Trust Funds and development partners.