ULAN BATOR, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday signed four deals with the Mongolian government to help Mongolia reduce air pollution in its capital city, and provide aid for education and disabled people in the country.
Finance Minister Khurelbaatar Chimed, and Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, ADB country director for Mongolia, signed three loan agreements and one grant agreement at a ceremony in Ulan Bator on Wednesday, which totalled 207 million U.S. dollars in value, the ADB said here.
One loan of 130 million U.S. dollars will be earmarked for reducing air pollution in Ulan Bator, home to nearly half of the country's population which suffers from some of the world's worst air pollution in winter months.
The agreements were aligned with the ADB's Country Partnership Strategy for Mongolia, which envisages a total assistance of 1.2 billion dollars over the 2017-2020 period, said Lommen.
"We are ready to work closely with the Mongolian government to improve education quality, and tackle the country's most pressing problem, which is air pollution, to help improve people's quality of life," she added.
Mongolia has a population of some 3 million. More than 800,000 residents, over half of Ulan Bator's population, live in slums, also known as ger districts.
They have to rely on burning raw coal and other flammable materials such as plastics and old tires to stay warm and cook meals during the six-month-long winter season. It is estimated that 80 percent of air pollution in Ulan Bator is caused by ger stoves. The rest is caused by transportation, thermal power plants and solid waste.
Other projects involved aim to improve people's access to quality education in schools and kindergartens, which will directly benefit about 15,000 children in 34 newly constructed or expanded schools and kindergartens.
The projects also focus on the early identification of children with disabilities through medical and social intervention, while improving services and infrastructure for disabled people and creating job opportunities for disabled people through policy support.