ADB funds to transform shanty towns in Mongolia's capital

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-20 21:43:08|Editor: xuxin
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ULAN BATOR, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian government on Thursday signed agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 76 million U.S. dollars in loans mainly to transform the shanty towns in the capital.

The funds will also be used to build wastewater treatment plants in the capitals of five provinces of the landlocked East Asian country as well as to strengthen national measures to prevent and respond to domestic violence.

The deals were signed here by Mongolian Finance Minister Khurelbaatar Chimed and ADB country director for Mongolia, Yolanda Fernandez Lommen.

Of the loan agreements, the first grant of 53 million dollars is earmarked for improving the living conditions in the ger districts or shanty towns in Ulan Bator, by building 10,000 homes in 20 new environmentally friendly districts, with good services, green spaces, shops and job opportunities.

"A third of the Mongolian population of 3.2 million live in the ger districts and suffer from poor sanitation, inadequate solid waste management, and limited water supply, which pose health and environmental hazards," Lommen said, adding the project will provide sustainable and comprehensive solutions to transform ger districts into affordable, low-carbon, and livable eco-friendly areas.

In the country's first single project to address domestic violence, 3 million dollars in funds will be directed at strengthening the nationwide prevention and response to domestic violence against women and children, a critical issue in the country with serious social and economic implications.

"The national study revealed that women aged between 25 and 49 experienced the highest rates of domestic violence resulting in loss of work days and income in addition to physical and psychological damage," said Lommen.

The country director added that the project, financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, aims to build shelters in three provinces and two districts, develop institutional capacity, and empower the victims economically.

In the third loan agreement, 20 million dollars will be used to help expand the existing wastewater treatment projects to an additional five provincial locations in Mongolia. The towns are Baruun-Urt, Bulgan, Chinggis, Mandalgovi and Murun, which have a total local population of 115,000.

The planned new wastewater treatment facilities each with a daily operating capacity of 3,000 cubic meters will replace outdated, inefficient treatment systems that are inadequate for the extreme climate in Mongolia, the ADB said.

The bank will also invest in vacuum evacuation trucks to improve the sanitation in ger districts and prevent underground and surface water pollution. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Mongolia joined the ADB in 1991, and the bank has since provided assistance worth a total of 2.4 billion dollars to the government of Mongolia, Lommen said.