ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (6 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Mongolia have signed the second tranche of the Ulaanbaatar Urban Services and Ger Areas Development Investment Program today.
The program, which started in 2013, supports the Ulaanbaatar city master plan to redevelop the capital city ger areas, referring to the Mongolian word for yurts which are located on the outskirts of the capital. The total investment cost for the second tranche is $121.14 million, with ADB providing $66.35 million, the European Investment Bank $19.64 million, and the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar $35.15 million. The total program cost is $320 million.
“The signing and implementation of tranche 2 is another step toward integrating ger areas and improving living conditions and economic opportunities to the residents,” said Arnaud Heckmann, Senior Urban Development Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department. “Upgrading urban subcenters will create the enabling environment for local community initiatives and private sector investment, improve ger area development potential, and help to mitigate air pollution.”
The ger area population has grown to an estimated 840,000 people, representing 60% of Ulaanbaatar city and 30% of the whole country. The lack of long-term planning, infrastructure investment, and land-use regulation have resulted in haphazard development, limited space for public facilities, poor access to services, reduced livelihood opportunities, and unsafe neighborhoods. During winter, air pollution from ger area stoves makes the city one of the most polluted in the world. As a result, ger areas do not attract private sector investment.
The program is using an integrated approach to upgrade existing urban subcenters in ger areas as catalysts for redevelopment and economic growth. The program is critical for the city’s inclusive development, the well-being of the residents, and to decrease the severe air and soil pollution affecting the entire city.
The second tranche will extend the urban infrastructure upgrading and spatial restructuring of two additional subcenters in the northern ger areas—Dambadarjaa and Denjiin subcenters—and provide additional investments in the two subcenters targeted by the program’s first tranche, Bayankhoshuu and Selbe subcenters.
It will support the delivery of socioeconomic facilities such as kindergartens, community centers, business incubators, transition house for victims of domestic violence, public parks, and sport complexes. The program will further improve institutional strengthening and capacity building for project management, urban planning and subcenter development, community participation, and small and medium-sized enterprises development.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.