ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (29 November 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $25 million loan to ensure that people with disabilities in Mongolia are socially and economically integrated to help improve their quality of life by providing better economic and educational opportunities as well as enhanced public service access and delivery.

“When given the proper platform and support, people with disabilities can help Mongolia improve productivity and boost economic growth,” said Raushanbek Mamatkulov, Senior Health Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department. “The project will significantly change the way ADB approaches its assistance to and engagement with people with disabilities, by implementing initiatives focused on what they can do and contribute, instead of what they cannot do.”

People with disabilities in Mongolia, comprising about 4% of the country’s population as of 2010, and their households are often more likely to be in poverty and living in isolation than the rest of the country. They also typically lack access to education, healthcare, social protection, and employment, while remaining marginalized—hindering their potential as productive members of Mongolian society.

The project, focused on Ulaanbaatar and six provinces, aims to achieve equal participation for people with disabilities in economic and social activities by making it easier for them to access basic services and job opportunities. Specifically, the project will focus on early identification of children with disabilities through early medical and social intervention. It will also improve the service delivery for people with disabilities by engaging social workers, conducting family sessions, and establishing a dedicated hotline on information, counselling, and referrals.

The project will fund the construction and rehabilitation of people with disabilities-friendly infrastructures and public spaces. It will also enhance people with disabilities’ job opportunities through policy support and industry partnerships, while enhancing public knowledge and awareness of issues surrounding people with disabilities and programs through policy review and campaigns.

In addition, ADB will administer a grant equivalent of up to $2 million for the project provided by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). Established by the Government of Japan in 2000, JFPR provides grants for projects supporting poverty reduction and related social development activities that can add value to ADB-financed projects.

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.

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