ADB’s Response to Mitigate COVID-19 Impacts in Mongolia

Video | 14 May 2021

From the earliest stages of COVID-19, ADB provided immediate support for Mongolia to improve preparedness and response, prevent domestic violence, manage food insecurity risk, and protect livelihoods of wheat farmers.

This included a COVID-19 Rapid Response Program loan of $100 million to help the government mitigate severe health and economic impacts, deliver medical equipment and supplies, and improve infection control and testing capacities. ADB also approved a $30 million health sector project to improve the capacity and hygiene of hospitals and committed $26.4 million for cash transfers to needy households affected by the pandemic.

ADB’s COVID-19 work in Mongolia continued in 2021 with another $100 million loan to strengthen the country’s health security, and $73 million to expand cash grants for children in Mongolia. ADB is working closely with the Government and key development partners to urgently support the access and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in Mongolia.

Transcript

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Mongolia hard – putting health care preparedness under severe strain and triggering a severe economic slowdown.

To counter the negative effects of COVID-19, ADB has provided comprehensive support.

Pavit Ramachandran, ADB Country Director for Mongolia: “ADB was able to support the Government of Mongolia in its comprehensive and timely response to the COVID-19 crisis. And we were able to act very early building on our long-standing engagement in the health and social protection sectors.”

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ADB distributed 570 pieces of essential medical equipment to 34 hospitals.

This included digital X-rays, ventilators, patient monitors, oxygen concentrators, infusion and injection pumps and nebulizers.

National experts were trained in infection prevention and control.

Erdenechimeg Tuvshin, Doctor of Intensive Care Unit, 3rd General Hospital of Mongolia: “With this support, all beds in our intensive care unit are now equipped with ventilators. Health care preparedness and quality are significantly improving. State-of-the-art electrical impedance tomography installed in our unit is the first and only one in the country.”

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A $30 million project upgraded sterilization departments of referral hospitals.

Emergency workers, customs officers, and first responders received personal protective equipment.

Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund grants purchased ambulances and established 12 PCR laboratories.

Sarantsetseg Jigjidsuren, MD, Director of PCR Laboratory, 1st General Hospital of Mongolia: “Since the laboratory was established, we have tested more than 110,000 samples. 25% of samples collected during the “One Door-One Test” nationwide measure was tested at our laboratory.”

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To ease the economic strain, ADB approved a $100 million countercyclical support facility loan.

This is supporting the government’s social protection measures targeting poor and vulnerable groups, and businesses.

A $26 million project is expanding food stamps and cash grants to over 1 million Mongolians.

A $15 milliion private sector loan is supporting livelihoods of wheat farmers.

ADB’s comprehensive response to COVID-19 is also addressing food insecurity risks, and domestic violence during the lockdowns.

Pavit Ramachandran, ADB Country Director for Mongolia: “Looking ahead now in terms of our future engagement, we have two operations in particular that I would like to highlight. The first is around budget support operation on health security, strengthening systems in the health sector. The second project that I would like to highlight is a follow on to our social protection project we processed last year. So, this will continue the essential child money payments necessary to tide over the worst effects of the pandemic. And we’ll also look at some institutional strengthening to move towards more skills development and job creation.”

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ADB is working with the Government and key development partners to urgently support the access and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility project is in the pipeline for May.