ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (12 September 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to improve the efficiency and safety of road transport in Mongolia.

The Regional Road Development and Maintenance Project (Phase 3) will improve state road network sections between aimag (province) capitals in Western Mongolia focusing on Altai (Gobi-Altai) to Uliastai (Zavkhan) and Khovd (Khovd) to Ulaangom (Uvs) to enhance local and regional connectivity. 

“The Western region particularly suffers from slow growth because of its remoteness from the country’s political and economic centers, and unpaved state roads connecting aimag capitals,” said ADB Senior Transport Specialist Nicolas Dei Castelli. “Aside from improving road conditions, the project will strengthen sustainable and climate-resilient road maintenance practices, and road safety.”

Land transport and development of a road network are challenging in Mongolia because of long distances and severe weather. Poor road conditions, especially in the rural areas, restrict access to markets, education, and services which worsens poverty and inequality. In addition, out of Mongolia’s 111,943-kilometer (km) road network, only 10,242 km are paved. The road network is vulnerable to extreme weather events such as flooding and landslides, which make roads and bridges impassable for long periods. 

The project will support Mongolia in its effort to promote inclusive economic growth by providing all-weather road access, reducing transport costs, and increasing access to services and economic opportunities for residents and businesses in the Western region. It also aims to strengthen road safety, maintenance, and climate resilience through upgrading sections of the state road network and improving road asset management and road safety. 

The project’s total cost is $158 million, with $8 million in counterpart financing from the government. It is expected to be completed in 2029.  

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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