MANILA, PHILIPPINES (12 July 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $5.36 million grant to strengthen coronavirus disease (COVID-19) detection and containment in Mongolia.

The Strengthening Rapid Epidemic Response Capacity of Health Systems Project grant will help Mongolia respond to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 by providing resources and training on the conduct of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to target populations.

“The risk of continued spread of COVID-19 remains substantial in Mongolia. To effectively prevent this, Mongolia needs to expand its network of COVID-19 testing laboratories to increase RT-PCR testing capacity,” said ADB Senior Social Sector Specialist Raushanbek Mamatkulov. “At the same time, the country needs to rapidly prepare for COVID-19 vaccination to bring the epidemic under control and allow the safe reopening of borders, enterprises, and schools.”

The grant will expand RT-PCR testing capacity of 10 molecular biology laboratories and ensure safe immunization through procurement and supply of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, and thermometers. The project will support the successful uptake of immunization services by target groups and post-immunization surveillance to improve care and monitoring.

ADB will administer a $5 million cofinancing grant for the project from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). The JFPR is funded by the Government of Japan and has supported projects in Mongolia in poverty alleviation, improving livelihoods, and safeguarding the environment over the past 20 years. The Government of Mongolia will provide counterpart financing of $360,000.

The project is closely linked to the Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery in Mongolia under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) which will provide safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Mongolia. It is expected to be completed in 2024.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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