Grants signed to promote Khuvsgul tourism, school dormitories, and affordable housing

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Mongolia signed three grant agreements totaling $7 million for projects on 26 January 2016 to benefit the environment and livelihoods at Khuvsgul Lake National Park in northern Mongolia, upgrade school dormitories in Mongolia’s western region, and improve affordable housing in Ulaanbaatar, the national capital.
The three grants are funded by ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which over the past 16 years has supported 42 projects in Mongolia. JFPR has fundedpractical and direct assistance to people across Mongolia for education and health, social protection, , employment generation, and for the environment.
Signing for the Government of Mongolia was the Minister of Finance B. Bolor, while ADB Country Director Robert Schoellhammer signed on behalf of ADB. The event was witnessed by Mr. Battsereg, Minister for Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Mr. Gantumur, Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Mr. Enkh-Amgalan, Member of Parliament, and Vice Mayor for Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Ochirbat. Mr. Shimizu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia also witnessed the event.
The Khuvsgul Lake project is ADB’s first-ever tourism project in Mongoliaan undertaking that will help create jobs, develop sustainable community-based tourism, and protect the environment,” said Mr. Schoellhammer. “The dormitory project willpromote equal access to quality education, particularly for children from herder families, while the affordable housing project will provide green development for the fast-growing districts of Ulaanbaatar. These projects are aligned with ADB’s broader strategy to diversify the economy, create jobs outside of the mining sector, and ensure opportunities for all, including people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Khuvsgul Lake National Park has long been considered one of the jewels in the crown of Mongolia’s protected area estate. More than 1 million hectares ofstunning snow-capped mountains and forested hillsides surround Khuvsgul Lake, which supports 70% of Mongolia’s, and 1% of the world’s, freshwater. Its pristine waters are vital to Mongolia, while the park’s wilderness and biodiversity values are of global importance. Khuvsgul aimag (province) is increasingly becoming an international tourist destination.
The Khuvsgul Lake project will focus on promoting sustainable tourism, community livelihoods, and environmental protection around the lake. Collaborative approaches will be implemented between the park authority, residents, and tour operators, to strengthen local tourism business and waste management.
Mongolia’s school dormitory system, meanwhile, was developed to ensure wider access to education, particularly for students from herder families. Many school dormitories were built in the 1970s and 1980s and require urgent rehabilitation. The western region supports the largest number of students staying in dormitories, of which 86% are from herder families.
The dormitory project will establish nationally replicable models to improve dormitory buildings, facilities and child-care in three aimags, Gov-Altai, Uvs, and Zavkhan.Dormitory buildings and facilities for heating, sanitation and housing of students will be upgraded, staff training and management capacity will be strengthened to improve pastoral care, and a national strategy to improve the school dormitory environment will be developed.
Ulaanbaatar’s peri-urban (ger) areas support over one-quarter (780,000) of Mongolia’s national population of 3 million, and 60% of the capital’s population of 1.3 million. Improving the basic housing services for the residents of these areas is a key priority of the Government of Mongolia. The affordable housing project will support the efforts of the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar to provide better infrastructure and living environment for residents and to reduce air and soil pollution in the capital.
Established in May 2000, the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) provides direct grant assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable groups in developing member countries of ADB while fostering long-term social and economic development.
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 members48 from the region. 

Source:ADB
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