World Bank Group’s Response to COVID-19 in Mongolia

2020-09-15 12:53:03

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The World Bank Group is moving quickly to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mongolia, the Bank has been working closely with the government to address various challenges brought by COVID-19.

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. The Bank is increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs.

Over the next 15 months, up to $160 billion to be deployed in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery, including $50 billion of new IDA resources in grants or highly concessional terms.

In Mongolia, the Bank has been working closely with the government to address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In the health sector, Mongolia was included in the WBG’s first batch of COVID-19 health emergency support operations. The Mongolia COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness project, with a total financing of US$26.9 million, will help the country meet emergency needs in the face of the pandemic and better prepare for future health crises.
  • In addition, US$2.2 million has been mobilized under the ongoing E-Health project to purchase the most needed medical diagnostic equipment.
  • Under the Strengthening Governance in Mongolia Project, funded by the European Union, US$750,000 (€ 680,000) has been re-prioritized to enable the government to take more targeted just-in-time measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, such as assessing the potential economic impact of the pandemic, planning and monitoring of fiscal resources, and better tracking the allocation and expenditure on response measures.
  • Resources under the Employment Support Project have also been reprioritized to support the government’s economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19. This includes US$15 million towards providing social insurance contributions relief for an estimated 120,000 individuals enrolled in the voluntary scheme—including the self-employed, micro-entrepreneurs, and those informally employed—for a period of five months. The microloan program with US$2.6 million financing under the project will also provide temporary interest rate relief for borrowers during the time of crisis.
  • Mongolia Emergency Relief and Employment Support Project, financed with US$20 million IDA credit, will provide temporary relief to eligible workers and employers in response to the COVID-19 crisis and help provide the country’s jobseekers and micro-entrepreneurs with improved access to labor market opportunities. In particular, US$10 million from the project will be transferred to the Social Insurance Fund to partially compensate the contribution relief for eligible employers and their workers under the mandatory SI scheme.
  • To minimize the secondary impacts of COVID-19 on children’s health and nutrition, US$5 million has been mobilized under the Education Quality Reform Project. The funding will top up payments to the government’s Child Money Program benefitting approximately 1.19 million children. The transfer will use the existing government system of social assistance for children thus reaching households quickly, with minimal administrative costs.
  • The World Bank provided US$1 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to strengthen Mongolia’s capacity to respond to the COVID-19. The funding will help purchase essential medical and personal protective equipment to public officers at high-risk screening points and health care providers in selected areas.

The East Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Update (April 2020) analyzes the economic impact of COVID-19 on the region and recommends policy actions countries can take to mitigate the impact, with a particular focus on protecting the poor and vulnerable.

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