ADB, Japan Extend $2 Million For Education, Health Services

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Finance signed on October 23 two technical assistance grant agreements for  $2 million to help Mongolia increase access to health services for disadvantaged groups and quality education services. 
The grants are being provided by the the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction—a financing facility set up by the Government of Japan in 2000 to provide relief and support to the poorest communities—and will be administered by ADB. First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Fukasawa Hiroshi, was witness at the signing ceremony. 
$1 million will go to support the management and rollout of ongoing education reforms aimed at addressing equitability issues in the sector, and another $1 million will go to help increase access to health services for disadvantaged groups living in ger areas in Ulaanbaatar. 
“Mongolia has made significant strides in improving the accessibility of its health and education services, but there are still constraints facing some groups and this assistance will help the government ensure quality services are made available to those in need,” said Sangay Penjor, Director of the Urban and Social Sectors Division in ADB’s East Asia Department. 
The education assistance will boost the capacity of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Institute of Education, sector reform teams, education departments and laboratory schools in nine districts of Ulaanbaatar and six aimags (Dundgovi, Khentii, Khuvsgol, Orkhon, Uvs and Zavkhan) to carry out municipal, aimag and national level research on school factors which influence equity of access to quality education. It will also develop measures to enhance equity of access to quality education, according to ADB.
The health grant will help increase the availability of primary and hospital health services to meet growing needs in ger areas of Ulaanbaatar city. This will be followed up in a later ADB-assisted project to build 10 additional family health centers and establish district hospitals in ger areas. The project will also improve the social health insurance system to increase access to services. 
The education technical assistance project will be carried out over 2 years through to July 2017, while the health project has an estimated completion date of August 2016. 
In Mongolia, ADB-approved assistance totaled $218.8 million in 2014, including 4 sovereign loans of $168.5 million; nonsovereign loans of $40 million; and 15 technical assistance grants totaling $10.31 million.
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, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

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