Finance Minister: Mongolia has applied to purchase COVID-19 vaccine

2020-11-19 16:48:24

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Following the cabinet meeting held on November 18, Minister of Finance Ch.Khurelbaatar delivered a media presentation on the spending report of foreign loans and assistance received by the government.

According to him, the Government has signed loan agreements with 4 international organizations and development partner countries for its COVID-19 response measures, totaling USD 299.5 million. Out of the total proposed international funds, USD 199.5 million has already been received, including USD 100 million from the Asian Development Bank's COVID-19 Rapid Response Program and USD 99.5 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument of the International Monetary Fund. The remainder USD 100 million loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected within the fourth quarter of 2020.

The government has also established international agreements of loans and grants worth USD 119.4 million for 10 projects and measures to serve as budget support against COVID-19 pandemic. USD 32.5 million of them has been already received and was spent for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment with a view to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining USD 86.8 million is expected in the last quarter of this year to be spent for much-needed medical supplies. 

The Asian Development Bank is providing the largest amount of loan and assistance, allocating a total of USD 160.1 million. Out of USD 128.1 million of funds that has already been received by Mongolia as of now, USD 100 million loan was provided as a budget support for government programs, such as ‘Child Money’ allowance and forgiveness of pension-secured loans. 

Another 1.2. million loan from the ADB has been spent for purchasing and distribution of 572 types of medical supplies to Ulaanbaatar’s and local hospitals, and USD 26.4 million loan lessen the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 has been spent for financing Child Money program and food stamps for vulnerable groups. 

Furthermore, ADB has provided USD 1 million grants for purchasing computed tomography equipment for the National Center for Communicable Diseases, and another USD 1.5 million grants will be provided by ADB for enhancing PCR laboratories countrywide. 

In the scope of proposed funds from the ADB, USD 30 million financing within the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program will be spent for purchasing 2,923 units of medical diagnostic equipment, 68,128 personal protective equipment and ambulances for 21 aimags, and refurbishment of sterilization departments at 7 aimag’s clinics. 

Moreover, Mongolia has already received following funds and assistance, including 

- Assistance of medical supplies and PPE worth USD 700,000 from China 

- EUR 16 million of grants as budget support as part of the European Union’s EUR 50.8 million of assistance for Mongolia’s COVID-19 related short, medium, and long term projects, 

- USD 99.5 million loan from the International Monetary Fund Mongolia under the Rapid Financing Instrument 

- USD 19.3 million from the World Bank as part of various assistance projects for Mongolia's COVID-19 response

- USD 2.5 million from the USAID for purchasing medical supplies and equipment necessary for providing support to vulnerable groups, 

- USD 1.5 million from Germany for PPE and medical equipment as well as improving vocational education in Mongolia, 

- USD 2.6 million from the United Nations organizations as technical assistance to strengthen capacity of 7 laboratories in 4 regions and to address preparedness and prevention of diseases in schools and kindergartens. 

Minister Khurelbaatar further informed that Mongolia has already applied to purchase COVID-19 vaccine with USD 50.6 million funding from the World Bank and has joined the Covax Facility, a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need. “Therefore, we believe that Mongolia has a higher chance of gaining access to coronavirus vaccine when available” said the Minister of Finance. 

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