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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

][MNT rallies further; CPI, exports, imports, housing down; GoM backs $1B India loan; MPP demands Z's resignation; and 2030 vision presented]

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

ASEM 11

Mongolia chairs general debate of ASEM Youth Week in Hanoi

April 11 (ASEM Mongolia) ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Youth Week (Model ASEM Hanoi 2016) took place this March 31 to April 7 in Hanoi of Vietnam.

Themed "Stronger Actions to Address Zero Hunger Challenge", the action brought together 104 youths and students from 30 countries. They shared views on effective measures for reducing poverty rate and famine in many countries. To unite their voice on combating these problems, they  met several times on political, social-economic and cultural issues, and worked out a final document. It was given to Chang Ngoc An, a senior official at the ASEM and director of the Foreign Ministry Department of Vietnam on Economic Cooperation.

Mongolia was represented by a student from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) G.Javzmaa, who received a certification on chairing the general debate of the event. The action continued for three days in a view of that Mongolia is the host of the forthcoming ASEM Summit.

The Ambassador of Mongolia to Vietnam Mr D.Enkhbat received G.Javzmaa and wished her success.

Model ASEM is a simulation of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit to generate interest and increase awareness of the ASEM process among university students and young academics. It takes place in the same month as the ASEM Summit and it is a 3-day academic conference and simulation exercise, with the latter being based on the Summit's procedures, programme and agenda. Youth participants from 51 Asian and European countries form delegations. Each delegation comprises of 3 students from different nationalities, including one head of delegation.

This year's event was co-organized by the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam, the Union of Communist Youths of Ho Chi Min city, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the British Council and the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN) with a financing from the European Union (EU). A student from France has been selected the top panelist, and this student has been awarded a right to take part in the 7th session of ASEM Youths to be held in July in Ulaanbaatar. All expenses will be covered by Vietnam.

Source: Montsame.mn

Link to article

 

Photos: ASEM partner hotel cooks in Professional Skills Challenge

April 12 (ASEM Mongolia) --

Link to photo album

 

ASEM: Domestic producers show their skills

April 12 (Mongolian Economy) Mongolia is preparing to host the 11th ASEM summit this year. It is estimated that at least 4,500 delegates will arrive for the main meeting. On April 5-6, representatives of protocol and security departments of some participating countries oversaw some of the preparatory works related to the meeting. Representatives in charge of protocol and security of Bangladesh, Brunei, Switzerland, Malaysia, South Korea, the EU and the working group in charge of ASEM security, protocol and borders participated in a study tour and visited the Shangri La complex, ASEM Villa, where the delegates will stay, and Chinggis Khaan international airport. The ASEM Villa complex comprises 53 modern style townhouses with the capacity to accommodate about 200 guests.

Currently, the construction and decoration works of the complex have been finished, and green area and beautification works are to be completed within June. As for Chinggis Khaan international airport, 9 aprons for 4C class aeroplanes were built to receive the guests, making it 34 aprons in total.At the same time, a transit hall with the capacity to receive 1,200 passengers was newly built, and on-going maintenance works at the business lounge, baggage claim, check-in area and terminals which will completed by the end of April. A conference hall at the Shangri-La complex has been completed, and the work to build a Press Center for foreign journalists covering the event is in progress.

Delegates who participated in the study tour expressed their satisfaction with mobilising every possibility to organise the major world event and noted that we should provide the guests and delegates of the summit with a high level of comfort and security.

In addition, officials explain that by organising the ASEM summit, it is an opportunity to show what Mongolia is capable of doing domestically. In particular, the goal to provide all services, consumption needs and gifts for foreign delegates by utilizing domestic producers has been set. Then, are the domestic manufacturers up for the task? Last year, the "Mongolian Brand-ASEM 2016" expo was organised at the Misheel Expo centre in order to show what Mongolians can do domestically.

There were many who were saying that Mongolians have become capable of producing anything domestically. Many types of products – handcrafts, woven products, souvenirs, jewelry, packaging, wool and cashmere clothes, sheepskin coats, hats and scarves – could be seen at the expo. More than 120 domestic producers participated in the expo. Clothes and products by a woman named Undruulagch-Ekh seemed garner high praise. She makes souvenirs by using animal and natural raw materials such as raw cowhide and wood. She mentioned that she hopes her products will be included in the gift packages for foreign delegates and guests of the summit. Another striking product was at the counter of Kh.Batkhuya, who produces souvenirs using precious stones in Umnugobi province with his family. He uses precious stones used for snuff bottles such as chalcedony and jade to make his souvenirs.

Sector officials noted the ability of Mongolians to produce quality, unique products domestically. Most importantly, the domestic products lose out to foreign products because of lack of attention to packaging and visage. As such, the summit's organisers said they will work to improve these issues by taking ideas from this expo.

Link to article

 

ASEM 2016: will there be enough vehicles?

April 12 (news.mn) It is anticipated that 3500-4000 foreign guests will come to Mongolia for the ASEM, which will be held this July. It is anticipated that 350 vehicles will be required to transport these people. Officials have said that 85% of the vehicles have been delivered.

On 8th April, a total of 52 Toyota Prius-30 were delivered to the General Police Authority; these will be used for security. Under an agreement between Mongolia and South Korea, 200 buses are also being imported. After ASEM, these will be transferred to the Ulaanbaatar public transport fleet.

Regarding the motorcades; 10-20 Mercedes-Benz luxury cars will be used during ASEM. There does, however, appear to be a shortage of luggage transporter vehicles. Several car owners have been offering to lend their cars for the ASEM summit on social media – although, the organizers have said that no official offers have been received.

Link to article

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.37%, ALL +0.48%, Turnover 104.4 Million Shares

April 12 (MSE) --

Link to report

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Economy

Historic low 2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, April 12 Close

4/12

4/11

4/8

4/7

4/6

4/5

4/4

4/1

3/31

3/30

3/29

3/28

3/25

3/24

3/23

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/611b76b6-2b0b-4a23-a444-02f9cb3dd75f.png

USD

2,020.04

2,023.91

2,026.93

2,032.89

2,042.75

2,042.49

2,047.17

2,048.79

2,048.90

2,050.73

2,050.77

2,050.85

2,050.69

2,050.15

2,049.36

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EUR

2,306.89

2,310.29

2,301.07

2,326.13

2,320.56

2,325.37

2,329.47

2,331.73

2,322.22

2,317.94

2,293.48

2,291.00

2,288.98

2,288.27

2,293.13

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/db4fa868-a5a2-4a14-9cd9-ef3b0081caa7.png

JPY

18.64

18.77

18.64

18.69

18.51

18.50

18.34

18.23

18.23

18.26

18.04

18.06

18.14

18.16

18.23

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/663d9297-6b7b-421b-a2c7-022882ec5691.png

GBP

2,880.38

2,861.40

2,851.18

2,869.53

2,887.43

2,908.81

2,911.69

2,943.39

2,939.25

2,956.85

2,914.35

2,906.16

2,896.91

2,886.92

2,903.33

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/a772b2ab-9007-499a-9c78-69d8ac652d26.png

RUB

30.34

30.17

30.02

30.04

29.79

29.61

29.84

30.64

30.24

30.14

29.75

30.20

29.98

29.65

30.27

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ceaa3227-2aea-4575-9f0f-9374539b6e52.png

CNY

312.38

312.97

312.81

314.47

315.36

315.67

315.99

316.91

316.86

316.35

315.03

314.87

314.77

314.82

315.48

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/9366ea6f-cdc8-4c79-87a2-c6de37f4f2db.png

KRW

1.76

1.77

1.76

1.76

1.77

1.77

1.78

1.78

1.79

1.78

1.76

1.76

1.75

1.76

1.77

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/020a3b13-d459-4bf3-b596-f93ff6442059.png

SGD

1,501.33

1,504.54

1,500.98

1,508.30

1,508.79

1,505.21

1,514.91

1,517.96

1,518.32

1,516.48

1,496.20

1,497.30

1,495.76

1,496.02

1,499.39

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/e78a2df0-8efa-4dfa-adb2-9cf7540dfc08.png

CAD

1,566.71

1,558.17

1,547.81

1,559.80

1,554.66

1,559.15

1,567.51

1,572.61

1,579.97

1,571.20

1,552.09

1,549.92

1,548.51

1,545.07

1,564.28

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ec21d929-99bc-4825-8f98-d8f66d0a4814.png

AUD

1,543.21

1,529.27

1,528.41

1,547.54

1,545.54

1,551.37

1,559.53

1,572.14

1,569.76

1,566.76

1,545.77

1,545.83

1,544.48

1,533.61

1,555.77

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ce22f7ae-6e61-4961-b249-a66ee1a47c1a.png

HKD

260.46

260.89

261.30

262.09

263.35

263.36

263.99

264.20

264.23

264.46

264.38

264.35

264.36

264.26

264.19

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/9775661f-ece0-420b-843d-58b1b4b23546.png

CHF

2,120.78

2,124.06

2,116.79

2,134.27

2,130.75

2,130.48

2,132.80

2,133.05

2,124.20

2,123.57

2,104.65

2,099.67

2,097.89

2,098.95

2,100.72

Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,019), Khan (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,019), Golomt (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,020), XacBank (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,020), State Bank (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,019)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates

 

BoM declines $34m ask, $0.3m bid, CNY2m bid offers, accepts $52.5m MNT swap offers

April 12 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on April 12th, 2016, the BOM has received selling bid offers of USD 34.0 million in a rate between MNT 2022.80-2024.00, buying bid offers of USD 0.3 million in a rate with MNT 2023.50 and buying bid offers of CNY 2.0 million in a rate with MNT 311.36 respectively. The BOM did not accept any bid offers.

On April 12th, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 52.5 million, USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 20.0 million from local commercial banks respectively and the BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 52.5 million.

Link to release

 

Subsidized Mortgage Report: 37.5 Billion Issued at 5%, ₮120 Billion at 8%, 22.9 Billion Transferred to 5%

April 11 (Bank of Mongolia) As of April 8 banks received ₮213.1 billion (₮211.5 billion as of April 5) mortgage requests of 3,432 citizens (3,482 as of April 5), of which ₮37.5 billion (₮44.4 billion as April 5) of 793 citizens (942 as of April 5) have been approved at 5%, ₮120 billion (₮106 billion as of April 5) of 1,833 citizens (1,630 as of April 1) at 8%.

Also, ₮22.9 billion mortgages (₮22.5 billion as of April 5) of 559 borrowers (547 as of April 5) who bought housing in Ulaanbaatar ger area redevelopment zones, satellite districts Baganuur, Bagankhangai, and Nalaikh, new capital housing zones, and 21 aimags have been transferred to 5%.

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

Inflation Falls to 1.7% in March from 2%

April 12 (Bank of Mongolia) --

 

National

Ulaanbaatar

 

MoM

YTD

YoY

MoM

YTD

YOY

Core

2016/03

0.5

1.7

1.7

0.3

1.5

1.1

3.1

2016/02

0.7

1.2

2.0

0.8

1.2

1.6

3.5

2016/01

0.5

0.5

1.7

0.4

0.4

1.0

4.0

2015/12

-0.2

1.9

1.9

-0.2

1.1

1.1

4.8

2015/11

0.2

2.1

2.9

0.6

1.3

1.9

5.3

2015/10

-0.7

1.9

3.4

-1.1

0.8

1.9

4.8

2015/09

-0.8

2.6

4.9

-0.9

1.9

3.9

6.1

2015/08

0.1

3.4

6.6

0.1

2.8

5.9

7.2

2015/07

0.0

3.3

6.9

0.1

2.7

6.6

7.3

2015/06

-0.1

3.2

7.3

0.1

2.6

7.1

9.6

2015/05

0.4

3.3

8.0

0.1

2.5

7.5

10.2

2015/04

0.9

2.9

9.2

0.8

2.4

8.8

11.0

2015/03

0.8

1.9

9.3

0.8

1.5

8.8

11.9

Link to table

 

UB Housing Price Index Down 0.9% in March, Down 10.9% from 2015

April 12 (BoM) --

Consolidated

New Housing

Old Housing

Index change /from 2013.01 base/

4.5%

16.2%

-2.8%

From previous month

-0.9%

-0.8%

-0.4%

From year beginning

-0.9%

-2.4%

-1.3%

From previous year

-10.9%

-7.8%

-13.8%

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

Mongolia 1Q Copper Exports Rise 33% Y/y; Coal Exports Flat: NSO

By Michael Kohn

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia exported 412,800 tons of copper concentrate in first quarter of 2016 vs. 309,400 tons yr earlier, National Statistics Office reported on its website today.

* Revenue from copper concentrate exports fell to $481.6m in the first quarter of 2016 from $512.2m yr earlier

* Exported 3.27m tons of coal in the first quarter vs. 3.24m tons yr earlier, an increase of 0.8%; value falls to $99.2m from $141.3m

* Exported 2.9t of gold in the first quarter compared with 2.5t yr earlier; value rises to $111.3m from $98m

* Crude oil exports rise to 2.2m barrels from 1.9m barrels yr earlier; value falls to $73.2m from $91.8m

* China purchased $781.2m worth of Mongolia exports in the first quarter vs. $888.7m yr earlier

* Mongolia total exports in first quarter amounted to $959m vs. $1.08b yr ago

* Imports fell 14.6% q/q to $599.1m in 1Q: NSN O5IFOH6JTSE8 <GO>

(BFW)

 

Mongolia Non-Performing Loans Rise 37.3% Y/y: Statistics Office

By Michael Kohn

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Non-performing loans reached 965.4b tugrik at the end of Mar., a 6% increase m/m, the National Statistical Office says today in statement.

* Loans outstanding were 11.8t tugrik at the end of Mar., a decrease of 3.6% y/y

* Non-performing loans were 8.2% of total outstanding loans, according to Bloomberg calculations

* M2 money supply was 10.1t tugrik at the end of Mar., up 1% m/m and 2.1% y/y

* Tax revenue dropped 11% y/y

* 1Q trade data:

* $359.9m surplus in 1Q 2016 compares to $376m surplus yr earlier

* Exports fell 11% q/q to $959m in 1Q

* Imports fell 14.6% q/q to $599.1m in 1Q

* March CPI rose 0.5% m/m, 1.7% y/y

* March industrial production index increased 8.3% y/y

* Natural loss of adult livestock reached 830,500 head in 1Q, compared to 56,300 in the same period a year ago

(BFW)

 

Social Situation of Mongolia in First Quarter

April 12 (gogo.mn) National Registration And Statistics Office releases Social and economic situation of Mongolia as of March 2016. 

In the first quarter of 2016, 19043 mothers delivered 19141 children (live births) it has decreased by 598 mothers or 3.0 percent and by 294 children or 4.2 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2016, infant mortality counted 427, it has increased by 106 children or 33.0 percent, under-five mortality counted 491, has increased by 120 or 32.3 percent compared to same period of the previous year. 

The number of unemployed reached 35.4 thousand at the end of March 2016 has shown an increase of 2.1 thous.persons or 6.3 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and increased by 0.3 thous.persons or 1.0 percent compared to the previous month. 

In the first quarter of 2016, the revenue of Social Insurance Fund amounted to 402.4 bln. tog, reflecting increase of 82.1 bln.tog or 25.6 percent and the expenditure of the fund reached 402.9 bln.tog, it has increased by 39.4 bln.tog or 10.9 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2016, totally 36.7 bln. tog granted to 188.5 thous.persons for pensions, and welfare benefits from the Social Welfare Fund, a number of persons received pensions and welfare allowances increased by 4.1 thous. persons or 2.2 percent, and an amount of pensions and allowances increased by 1.5 bln. tog or 4.2 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2016, 59.7 bln.tog granted from the Human Development Fund to 990.1 thousand children aged below 18 as a cash benefits.

In the first quarter of 2016, the total number of patient with infectious disease reached 25355 persons it has increased by 16247 persons or 2.8 times more compared to same period of the previous year. This increase was mainly due to increase of 15540 persons infected by measles although there were decrease of 113 persons or 44.1 percent in hepatitis, 435 persons or 21.9 percent in syphilis, 272 persons or 19.6 percent in gonococcus and 136 persons or 11.7 percent in tuberculosis.

In March 2016, Jinest soum of Bayankhongor aimag had the highest air temperature (23.0°C), while Tsetsen-Uul soum of Zavkhan aimag had the lowest air temperature (-54.2°C). Maximum wind speed reached 29 m/sec in Altai soum of Gobi-Altai aimag. 

In March of 2016, as measured by over 10 air quality monitoring stations, the average daily concentration of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide exceeded by 7-31 times, dust content with less than 2.5 micron exceeded 12-26 times and dust content with less than 10 micron have exceeded the maximum acceptable level by 10- 28 times in the atmosphere of Ulaanbaatar.

Source: www.1212.mn

Link to article

 

Cabinet backs $1 billion export credit agreement with India for parliament submission

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday discussed and then backed a general intergovernmental agreement with India on export loan of USD one billion

A decision was also made to consult this matter with parliament. If a related parliamentary Standing committee backs the agreement, an ordinance of the PM will be issued to authorize an official to sign the intergovernmental agreement.

By an order of the PM, a working group has been already set up to offer projects and programmes eligible for being financed with money from this soft loan. This working group had concurred with the Indian side on establishing the credit agreement, credit terms and rules of the Exim Bank of India. In accordance with the general terms, the 20-year soft loan has an interest of 1.75% per year. The Mongolian side is to be freed from the loan's basic payment first five years.

In cases of infrastructure projects of over USD 200 million and of strategically important projects of over USD 100 million, the term is to be 25 years and the free-from-the basic payment period--seven years.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

MPP demands dismissal of Speaker of Parliament

April 8 (news.mn) Today, the director of the Mongolian People's Party Group, S.Byambatsogt, presented a demand to dismiss Z.Enkhbold as Parliamentary Speaker.

Last Monday, the MPP Group held a meeting, during which it was noted that: "the Speaker does not call non-regular sessions of Parliament, in order to discuss necessary issues; rather, he calls them to dismiss ministers, dismiss the Government and join the convention to bury the nuclear waste in the country of origin. Therefore, we have no choice, except to penalize the Speaker". The demand came as a result of debate in the MPP Group.

Link to article

 

Beate Trankmann addresses launching and handover of Mongolia's 2030 sustainable development vision

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms Beate Trankmann Monday delivered a speech at a ceremony of launching and handover of Mongolia's 2030 sustainable development vision held in the State House.

In her speech, Ms Trankmann expressed her satisfaction with witnessing the launch and handover by Parliament of Mongolia's 2030 Sustainable Development Vision, which charts the country's development path for the next 15 years – the period of the Sustainable Development Goals.

"By 2030, the Development Vision envisages Mongolia to be one of the leading Middle Income Countries – that has eradicated poverty in all its forms and preserves the ecological balance while continuing to build strong and stable governance systems.

Mongolia has shown strong development progress over the last 15 years. Last year, it has been classified for the first time as a high Human Development Country in UNDP's Human Development Index. According to the inequality adjusted HDI, Mongolia remains more equal than most countries in Asia Pacific and is more or less comparable in terms of inequality with countries in Europe and Central Asia," Ms Trankmann said.

"Recent economic progress has lifted many people out of poverty. However, with one in five people living below the poverty line, poverty remains a challenge. At the same time, progress has been achieved at the cost of environmental degradation that is impacting the lives of everyone, with the poor often being disproportionately affected. The key to making development progress sustainable is finding the balance among all its constituent parts – economic, social and environmental.

At the United Nations, we are pleased to see Mongolia's 2030 Vision firmly anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development approved by World leaders last Sept in New York.

This makes Mongolia one of the global early adopters of the SDGs and I would like to congratulate you on this achievement.

The 17 SDGs define the global priorities for people and planet for the next decade and a half.

They, indeed, integrate the three pillars of development – economic, social and environmental.

They put sustainability at the core and focus on eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in order to have everyone benefit from development.

The next step now is for Mongolia to translate its Sustainable Development vision - and the SDGs embedded in it - into concrete government policies, plans and budgets for actual implementation," she said.

"Like the SDGs - Mongolia's vision is broad and ambitious. Implementing it, goes beyond government and requires a whole-of-society effort bringing in private sector, civil society and communities as well as political parties. In fact, the vision offers an opportunity to go beyond the short-term objectives of the next election and plan for the longer-term and for future generations.

In translating the vision document into plans and budgets, it will be important to work out the connections between the different priorities - how they are mutually reinforcing and potentially competing with each other. We have seen that high economic growth, for example, does not automatically lead to decreasing poverty and inequality and it will be vital for the policies underpinning the Vision Document to ensure that both objectives can be met. Similarly, growth strategies especially in the mining, energy and agricultural sectors may need to be adjusted to ensure that environmental and climate change objectives can be reached.

At the same time, and beyond decreasing inequalities, the issue of targeting will need some more thinking. In particular, to ensure that development doesn't leave anyone behind, action plans need to be targeted to reach the furthest behind first.

Last but not least, adequate state budget resources need to be put behind the key objectives of the vision. This involves adequate taxation measures and better targeting of state resources including the abolishment of counterproductive subsidies that don't support pro-poor and pro-environment public programmes. It also involves public expenditure reviews to ensure that resources are indeed being assigned to policy priorities and sectors. Finally on this point, financing has to go beyond state budget and bring in new sources of finance from private sector, philanthropy and others," she said.

"To conclude, let me say that the UN stands ready to support the government of Mongolia in implementing its Long-term Sustainable Development Vision and the SDG agenda.

Some cooperation is already underway through a comprehensive data assessment to look at data availability against the 231 global SDG indicators and identify data gaps and capacity challenges.

The UN & UNDP are also setting up a broad programmatic platform for the SDGs that supports SDG mainstreaming into Mongolia's national and local plans, policies and budgets and facilitates measures for acceleration and their subsequent monitoring.

As part of this, we will support the development of an integrated financing assessment of Mongolia's Development Vision and introduce a screening tool for review and alignment of policies and sectoral plans with the Vision and the SDGs. We will also work with the Government of Mongolia to translate experiences from local pilot initiatives into country-wide systematic solutions underpinned by relevant policies and budget allocations.

We look forward to working with the Government, Parliament and all partners on this important agenda," Ms Trankmann said.

Link to article

 

MPP leaders discuss possible merger with MPRP, call party conference on April 18

April 12 (news.mn) Yesterday (11th April), the leaders of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) held a meeting, during which they  decided to call a party conference for 18th April. They also discussed the possible merger of the MPP and Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) – although a decision was not taken. At present this matter is being studied by specially created MPP and MPRP working groups; yesterday the current state of study on the merger was presented.

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Justice Coalition Caucus meets to appoint new leaders

April 12 (news.mn) Yesterday (11th April), the Justice Union Group, which consists of the  Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian National Democratic Party held a meeting in Government House. Last Monday, the leader and deputy leader of the Justice Union, N.Battsereg and Z.Bayanselenge respectively, informed that they wish to stand down from their positions within the group. The purpose of the meeting was to nominate a new group leader. Mr Battsereg, the outgoing leader, is currently working as Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, has said that the candidates were actually chosen last Thursday, but have not been presented to Parliament because the MPRP had not had their meeting. This was why the group meeting took place yesterday. It is expected that the names will be announced later today.

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Cabinet approves general plan for realizing recommendations of UNHRC

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday adopted a general plan for implementing recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for 2016-2019.

The second report on human rights situation in Mongolia was reviewed at the 22nd meeting of the UNHRC's working group in May of 2015. As a result, Mongolia accepted 150 recommendations to implement out of 164 offered by the UNHRC members and observers.

Very first plan of the recommendations' realization of 2012, classified without categories, determined relevant organs to implement, whereas this year's plan sorts 150 recommendations into 12 groups by contents. Specific measures are reflected in the plan as well. By this, basic guidelines for the recommendations' implementation will become clearer, and the realization will be evaluated easily. Moreover, the civil society monitoring system will be improved over the implementation, and relevant bodies will work out scrutinized plans for recommendations.

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Bill submitted on supporting domestic products

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Tuesday submitted to parliament draft amendments to parliamentary resolutions on some measures for supporting national producers and augmenting job places, and for supporting herders and national producers.

The two draft resolutions, adopted in 2011 and 2012 respectively, brought some positive changes in the national economy and herders' livelihood but the Minister considers that they should be amended because of a "being member of cooperative" term. The resolutions will not pressure a budget for the incentive of wool because the 2016 budget of the Minister of Food and Agriculture has money for herders' incentives.

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Bill submitted on state registration of citizens

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft law on state civil registration.

Affairs of the state civil registration, structures, organization and functions of related organs are still regulated by the 1999 law on state registration of citizens. "Now it has outdated and cannot reflect some necessary regulations", the draft initiator said.

The newly-formulated law aims to abolish both a duplication in legal documents and breaches of the law, to deliver people high standard services, to make the state registration more just and realistic, and to reduce overpressure in the state registration, Dorlogjav said.

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Business

"Khovsgol thermal power station" state-run company to be established

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Monday, the cabinet made a decision to establish the "Khovsgol thermal power station" state-run company.

This power station was built and put into use in September of 2014 in Khovsgol province, being now managed by the "Pre-exploitation Authority" so far.

An obligation was given to B.Bolor, the Minister of Finance, to approve the company's rule and an organizational structure and to undertake actions to smoothly run the company's operations. The Minister of Energy D.Zorigt was told to provide the company with a professional management team, while the Energy Regulatory Committee--to fix tariffs.

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Golomt Bank to finance IMAX theater in Shangri-La center with Canadian Export Agency

April 12 (gogo.mn) Golomt Bank has supported the act to bring world motion theater development to Mongolia. In scope of this, Golomt Bank has agreed on the financing of soon to open Urgoo-IMAX at Shangri-La center with Canadian Export Financing agency within their cooperation agreement

In framework of this project, advanced motion picture technology such as IMAX will be introduced to Mongolia while creating realistic, comfortable environment to motion picture fans and audiences which they will definitely enjoy.

Golomt Bank was the first bank in Mongolia to establish an agreement with Canadian Export Financing Agency and provided their customers with convenient medium-term financing solution to export equipment and construction materials from Canada. This solution provides an opportunity of loan financing up to 85% of the import agreement amount.

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MOU signed established with Turkey's Marmara Group

Ulaanbaatar, April 8 (MONTSAME) It has been signed by D.Zagdjav, a president of the Mongolian Organization for Peace and Friendship, and by Dr Akkan Suver, a president of Turkey's Marmara Group Foundation.

Present at the signing ceremony were B.Batkhishig, the Ambassador of Mongolia to Turkey, and Mr Tugrul Turkes, the Deputy PM of Turkey.

A Mongolian delegation participated in the 19th Eurasian Economic Summit, organized this April 5-7 in Istanbul by the Marmara Group. Mongolia was represented by N.Bagabandi, a former president of Mongolia; the above D.Zagdjav; and J.Gurragchaa, a cosmonaut and a vice president of the organization.

This year's summit themed "The Silk Road economy, energy, forced migration and terrorism" brought together delegates of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Moldavia, Romania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Slovenia, Kosovo, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The gathered touched upon issues of conditions of SMEs; investment tools of future; production economy to information economy transmission; economic growth or economic development; can global economy product labor force; variety in human sources; countries' enrichment models; future of construction sector; what's the economic price of new global instability to countries: fluctuations in China's market and affections to economy; and global economical affections of FED's interests to OPEC petroleum prices.

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Ulaanbaatar

UB cops to improve their English

April 12 (news.mn) As the tourism season approaches, the UB city administration is preparing to be able to receive up to five million tourists. Many organizations are taking steps to attract tourists. With such an influx of people unable to speak Mongolian, serious language problems arise; first and foremost are situations involving the police.

Many Mongolian policemen do not have even a rudimentary knowledge of English. Therefore, in order to provide safety for tourists, a number of policemen are to learn English. The English speaking courses for UB police patrol officers start today.

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Road designs and drawings to be constructed in 2016

April 8 (gogo.mn) This year MNT 55.1 billion road construction to be done. We deliver you the designing of road projects that is expected to be constructed in 2016. 

1. Design and drawing of six bridges and road to connect Ard Ayush Avenue located in 30, 31 and 23rd khoroo of Songinohairhan district and Tolgoit road. 

Project result: To decrease the traffic load of Peace Avenue and Unur town. Infrastructure of ger district located in 1st micro district will be improved and public transportation service will be delivered more closely to citizens.

2. Design and drawings of road and bridges will be constructed in Ger district in Morin davaa to Auto Shopping Complex.

Project result: By constructing this road, traffic flow of vehicles travelling from West and North areas to East and South areas will not pass the Ulaanbaatar city center. Also vehicles driving to Auto Shopping Complex from Ulaanbaatar city center will able to go there from Niseh-Songino road. 

3. M.Gandhi Street`s road upgrading project 

  • ..

4. Ih Mongol Street`s road upgrading and expanding project

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5. Road and bridge upgrading project from Orbit-Bayangol intersection to Nairamdal camp.

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Project result: Infrastructure and road safety in Bayangol am, Orbit and Tahilt areas will be improved and the public transport services will be more accessible.

6. Overpass at West intersection of Narantuul International Market

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7. Road project to connect Narnii road and Dunjingarav road.

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Source: City Road Department 

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Power supply improved for 14,862 UB households 2012-2015

April 8 (gogo.mn) Between 2012-2015, Capital city has implemented 206 projects amounted 73.3 billion MNT across Ulaanbaatar to enhance power supply, and include households with voltage drop to more secure, stable power supply.

Ub investment department reports 35 616 households are now receiving enhanced, secure power supply in result of these actions.

Out of 73.3 billion MNT, 17.3 billion MNT was invested from capital budget to carry out 128 projects, resulting 14 862 households with enhanced, more secure power supply.

Source: Ulaanbaatar.mn

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Diplomacy

Buuz and sushi: Sergey Lavrov's itinerary

April 8 (news.mn) Yesterday, the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the date of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Mongolia. Mr Lavrov, who is coming at the invitation of Mongolian Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren, will spend 14th April in Ulaanbaatar. Detailed information about his visit has not been provided.

On Wednesday, Ms. Maria Zakharova, the Press Department director at the Russian Foreign Ministry informed that the schedule of the visit has not been completely clarified – the itinerary, however, will be very tight. Ms.Zakharova said: "During the visit, the foreign ministers of two countries will make agreements, and discuss the current state of bilateral relations and urgent issues of the region". It is expected that the medium term strategic partnership between Russia and Mongolia will be clarified and confirmed. This program was made for the implementation of the cooperation agreement, which was discussed during the visit of President Vladimir Putin to Mongolia, in 2014. The program covers a wide range of issues, including; politics, trade and economics, social questions and international relations. Maria Zakharova added: "the implementation of the program will add new color to Mongolian and Russian cooperation".

From Ulaanbaatar, Mr Lavrov will fly on to Tokyo, where he will be meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

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Cabinet backs opening embassy in Kyrgyzstan, consulates in Kalmykia, Shanghai, Dubai

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday discussed and then backed issues of opening the Embassy in Kyrgyzstan and the Consulates in Elista city of Russian Kalmykia Republic, in Shanghai of China and in Dubai city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These issues  will be consulted with a related Standing committee of parliament.

-       The cabinet discussed a draft amendment to the law on VAT and considered as necessity to submit it to parliament after having reflected in it proposals of Ministers.

-       The cabinet backed recommendations to be delivered from the Cabinet Secretariat for Government to the presidiums of the Citizens' Representative Khurals (council) of Ulaanbaatar and provinces in connection with a report by S.Bayartsogt, a head of the Cabinet Secretariat, on works done in 2015.

-       An appendix was amended of a governmental resolution on taking some measures for structures and organization of state organizations and agencies in connection with altering a maximum number of staffers of the General Authority of Customs and Tax. The Minister of Finance B.Bolor was obliged to resolve an extra finance within the 2016 budget.

-       The cabinet backed an issue of signing the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. An order of the PM will be issued to authorize an official to sign the Paris Agreement after consulting with a related Standing committee of parliament.

-       In accordance with the cabinet decision, D.Chadraabal was appointed the General Consul of Mongolia to Ulan-Ude city of Russia. Current Consul Ts.Ganbold has been recalled. 

-       The cabinet discussed a draft concept of the law on the public-private partnership and ordered the Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat and Justice Minister D.Dorligjav to approve the concept and formulate the bill.

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UNIDO Permanent Representative to Mongolia presents credentials

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren received April 11 the letter of credence from the Permanent Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to Mongolia Mr Ralf Bredel.

After this ceremony, the two shared views on the cooperation between the Mongolian government and the UNIDO. Mr Purevsuren spoke about a policy on industrialization and a law on supporting industrialization, adopted last year by parliament, and hoped that the UNIDO will support the Mongolian government in  working out a policy on diversifying the national economy and a strategy on developing small- and middle-sized productions through cluster.

In response, Mr Bredel said Mongolia has been involved since 2014 in a UNIDO programme on boosting adequate and sustainable industries within the economic region of Silk Road.

After this the sides talked about ways of forwarding the bilateral cooperation in an industrial development in Mongolia.

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Foreign Minister meets UNICEF Permanent Representative

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren Monday received Mr Roberto Benes, the Permanent Representative of the UNICEF to Mongolia.

Mr Benes gave him some details regarding an approving of a 2017-2021 cooperation programme between the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UNICEF.

Mr Purevsuren thanked the UNICEF for aid and support and said the UNICEF has significantly contributed to the protection of children's rights and to a backing of the social services and children and youths' roles in our society.

He also highlighted the new cooperation programme's importance in realizing a long-term and sustainable development concept of Mongolia.

The sides also exchanged views on ways of collaborating in some measures for organization of the forthcoming ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar.

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Bill submitted on external relations of Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, April 8 (MONTSAME) Some MPs Friday submitted to parliament a draft law on the foreign relations of Mongolia. The bill has been worked out with an aim to improve the implementation of documents on the country's foreign relations.

"Although the basic documents of external relations reflect issues about ensuring the unity of foreign relations of Mongolia, the principles, goals and measures for the implementation, also a legal environment for realizing the documents are not very effective. This conclusion has been made by a working group at the Standing committee on security and foreign policy. The bill has been formulated to create necessary legal regulations for ensuring the unity of external relations," the draft initiators said.

The bill defines basic principles of the foreign relations of Mongolia and makes some amendments to clauses on the external relations' unity, planning the policy implementation, its monitoring and reporting, the initiators said. They had studied experiences of the USA, Canada, Slovenia, Italy, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.

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Mongolian youth cultural festival organized in Germany

Ulaanbaatar, April 8 (MONTSAME) First Mongolian Youth Cultural Festival for children and youngsters living in Germany ran in Munich of Germany this March 31-April 3, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday.

Co-organized by J.Munkhjargal, principal of the "Od" Mongolian school in cooperation with Mongolian Association in Munich, the festival attracted students, 15 teachers and around 70 parents coming from five schools in Germany and one school in Salzburg of Austria.

Children from Aachen and Wuerzburg cities also took part in the festival. Lieutenant Colonel Mrs Ariunaa Orosoo, a military attache of the Embassy of Mongolia in Germany, conveyed the Ambassador Tsolmon Bolor's greetings to the gathered.

An Honorary Consul-General of Mongolia, Dr Andreas Pitum congratulated the organizers and children and wished them luck in the tournaments.

Children from Munich city-based "Od" school, "Soyol" school in Duesseldorf, "Solongo" school (Stuttgart), "Erdem" school (Nuernberg) and "Maidar" school (Berlin) competed in artistic performances, in a range of sports and chess tournaments. They won gold, silver and bronze medals in artistic performances while children from "Od" won in 5 types of sports tournaments. Pupils from Stuttgart won 1st place in the chess.

In addition, Mongolian Cultural Day has been organized in Munich with a range of activities being offered. Film producer B.Uizenmaa's short film titled "Khuyagaa", Dr Kuarko's "Mongolian religion" lecture as well as an art collection by N.Battulga were presented.

Poet Dr P.Gangaamaa's book-reading event was also offered while Mongolian folklore groups "Egshiglen" and "Trans Mongolia" performed traditional Mongolian musical pieces. A knuckle-bone shooting tournament took place among the general public, parents of kids from the "Solongo" school in Stuttgart surprised with a theatrical show.

Not only Mongolians, but also many Germans and foreigners were attracted to these events. They were quite interested in taking part in the introductory courses on learning horse-headed fiddle and "khoomii" skills.

A traditional Mongolian yurt has been erected in the Olympia park in Munich city showcasing Mongolian customs and lifestyle.

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Health, Education

Let's use cotton bags to support families of children with autism

April 12 (gogo.mn) Youths from 13th Young leadership program by Zorig Foundation started to implement cotton bag project called  E=MC2 (Ecoworld = Mass). 

The purpose of the project is to create ecofriendly environment and to support the mothers, sisters and grandmothers of children with autism registered at Autism Association of Mongolia as well as to increase their family income. 

From 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are produced in the world annually and one million of them are used in every one minutes. However only 1-3% of which are recycled. 

Project initiators noted that use of cotton bags have many advantages including economical and ecofriendly. 

In order to support the project, buy the cotton bags at following places:

  • You are able to order cotton bags via email: teama.ecobagproject@gmail.com
  • Make call to order the bags at:  96664965, 99373018, 88161025
  • Direct sell is available at Minii Urlan Handmade Boutique  (address: East side of 11th secondary school, West 4 intersection)
  • Direct sell is available at Dodo cafĂ© (address: In front of State Department Store, East side of the fountain)

In addition, many activities to be held in scope of the project and click HERE for detailed information.

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Diabetes in Mongolia: disturbing figures

April 8 (news.mn) Yesterday (8th April), was UN World Health Day; the theme of which was diabetes. Currently, there are 300,000 diabetics in Mongolia. It is sobering to note that this figure represents only those who have been diagnosed with diabetes. What, therefore, is the real figure? Over the last 11 years, the numbers of diabetics has increased six times and deaths from the illness - four times. Medical experts, therefore, stated that complex treatment is urgently needed to reduce diabetes, during an anti-diabetes meeting, which was held yesterday at the Ministry of Health and Sport.

At present, medicine to treat diabetes is not covered by health insurance. Therefore, the director of the City Health Authority Sh.Enkhbat, said that diabetes medicine will be added to the list of 300 discounted medicines before July.

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Culture, Society

Mongolia celebrates International Buddhist Day

April 8 (news.mn) Today, Mongolia is celebrating International Buddhist Day. This is the second year Buddhist Day is being marked. The celebrations focus on Mongolia's main monastery, the Gandantegchinlen (Gandan), which is located in Ulaanbaatar. Monastery is celebrating. Kh.Byambajav, a lama of the third rank, opened the ceremony with a speech and reading of sacred Buddhist texts - the Gavsumba and Jinlavtsogzol - with the monks present. During the ceremony, a mandala and a "zul" (Buddhist oil wick lamp) were placed before the statue of the divine Migjid Janraisig.

The 6th Buddhist Summit, which was held on 25th December 2014, took the decision to celebrate International Buddhist Day each year. Mongolia's highest religious figure, the Khamba Lama of Gandantegchinlen Monastery (D.Choijamts) has been working as leader of the summit for two years. According to the Lama Kh.Byambajav, the purpose of this day is to promote the religious teaching to the people. A total of 80% of Mongolians are Buddhists.

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"Mongol Stamps" exhibition opens

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 (MONTSAME) This exhibition opened last weekend in the National Museum of Mongolia.

It has been displaying some 100 historically important stamps and seals that have been selected from 1,500--used from the Mongolian ancient times to the beginning of the 20th century for state and policy actions, such as stamps of a high-level military servicemen during Yuan Dynasty, seals related to diplomatic services, or used by a famous Lama in the last century.

Visitors are attracted to many items including a stamp used by Marshal Kh.Choibalsan, a leader of the People's Republic of Mongolia, an impression of a hand-made seal with his name, his signature, and a picture of horse.

As known, state seals of the 13th century had Mongol and Dorvoljin scripts /"square-shaped script"/, while seals of Mongolian administrative units under Manchuria rule usually had Mongol and Manchu scripts. Since the restoration of independence in 1911, administrative organs of Mongolia started using seals with the Soyombo, Mongolian and Dorvoljin scripts. The Soyombo is still used. In connection with changing the state emblem of Mongolia by the Constitution adopted in 1940, seals became round-shaped, six years later, Cyrillic alphabet was introduced in seals.

The "Mongol Stamps" exhibition will continue until end of this month. The National Museum plans to open other exhibitions named "Mongolian heritage: Mongolian bow" in June, and "Mongolian culture of horse" in July.

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Nature, Environment

United Nations hands over supplies for dzud affected households

April 12 (gogo.mn) Ulaanbaatar, April 11 2016 - In response to the recent Dzud disaster that has directly affected the lives of as many as 63,000 nomadic households in Mongolia, the United Nations mobilized $2.4 million from its Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) under the rapid response window.

As part of this assistance, food, nutrition packages and hygiene kits were handed over today to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for immediate distribution to women and children in affected communities.

Since last December an estimated 41 percent of the total herder population have been affected by harsh winter weather conditions involving extreme cold and compact layers of snow, which are locally known as Dzud. Out of this, an estimated 11,800 herder households with less than 100 animals in the most affected districts are considered particularly vulnerable.

Over 1,800 children under five years old and more than 900 pregnant and lactating women in 45 'soums' in six provinces - Uvs, Bayankhongor, Arkhangai, Zavkhan, Dundgobi and Sukhbaatar – are targeted to receive the UN packages.

UNICEF in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Sport and World Vision International-Mongolia provides life-saving food and nutrition interventions to ensure food security of the affected households and prevent them, particularly vulnerable children, and pregnant and lactating women from micronutrient deficiencies.

The nutrition component covers supply and distribution of multiple micronutrient supplements for children aged 6-59 months old and pregnant and lactating women in target soums and provinces affected by dzud. It will also provide nutrition screening for identification of cases of acute malnutrition and adequate nutrition counselling to the dzud affected population, particularly for parents of children under two years old and pregnant and lactating women.

UNFPA provides 7,962 Dignity Kits, i.e. 2 kits per household, to the women and girls in the affected areas which include sanitary supplies, underwear, clothes, socks, towels and soaps and protection items including whistles and torches with batteries.  The kits are to preserve an appropriate level of sanitation of women and girls as well as their health, safety and dignity, and they are to prioritize and meet their special needs in humanitarian settings. UNFPA also extends support to soum health centers so that an estimated 500 pregnant and post-partum women receive ante-natal care and other reproductive health services in the affected areas.

"In any emergency, women and children are the most vulnerable. Children are especially vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. Extreme cold poses increased risk of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI), pneumonia and other infectious disease (measles and chickenpox) among children, as their immune systems are lower due to undernutrition." says Roberto Benes, UNICEF Mongolia Representative. "That is why micronutrient supplements are so important in reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality in dzud affected areas".

"Women and girls are the backbone of Mongolian society and we must take concrete steps to ensure their safety and dignity is protected in Dzud situations" says Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative. "Working with the Government of Mongolia to target support to women through the provision of dignity kits will help promote the health and well-being of herding communities across the country."

"The assistance provided by the UN aims at addressing the most urgent survival and livelihood needs of 4,390 vulnerable herder households affected by the dzud and complements the Government response, which focuses on infrastructure and service provision" says Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator.

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Sports

Mongolian Taekwondo vies for Olympic quota

April 12 (gogo.mn) Mongolian National Taekwondo team with 14 members are training at Mongolian National olymp complex at Khandgait until April 14.

Our taekwondoins will participate in Asian olympic qualifying tournament in April 16-17 in Manilla, Phillipines. Our athletes M.Tumenbayar will compete in 58kg and P.Temuujin in 68kg divisions.

Asian championship tournament taking place in April 18-20, will have B.Gantsooj in 54kg, M. Tumenbayar in 58kg, A.Natsagdorj in 63kg, P.Temuujin in 68kg.

National team is coached by N.Erdenebaataar and South Korean coach Hur-Iyong.

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S. Battsetseg tops world ranking of freestyle wrestlers

April 8 (gogo.mn) United World Wrestling Federation released updated freestyle wrestling world rank.

They released the top 20 wrestlers' name to the world. Among the top 20, 12 of them are men and 10 are female athletes.

Two time world champion S. Battsetseg led in her weight division, while World champion S. Tserenchimed and silver medalist P. Unurbat are ranked in 4th in 60kg division.

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New laboratories opening ceremony today

April 8 (gogo.mn) Today the opening ceremony for new structure, sports hall, and six fully equipped laboratories in Mongolia-Korea polytechnic college will take place at 11:00. The project is financed by South Korean KOICA. 

Labor ministry G. Bayarsaikhan, South Korean Ambassador to Mongolia Mr. U Sun and other officials will attend this opening ceremony.

South Korea invested total of $5.7 million into Mongolian vocational education sector and made tangible contribution in educating specialized workers in light industry.

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Art, Entertainment

World-famous jazz musician Jesse Davis to play in Mongolia

April 12 (gogo.mn) World famous, jazz alto saxophonist Jesse Davis will play in Mongolian. He is from New Orleans, and this April 15, his 4 member band will play to Mongolians.

He is an uniquely talented musician known for his musical works and incredible live performances who started playing saxophone at the age 11. This show is an amazing opportunity for jazz music lovers, fans to taste and feel the real jazz music. 

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Travel

Uvs Province – Land of Lakes and Legends

April 8 (gogo.mn) Prepare to be mesmerised by the beautiful land of Lakes and Legends! GoGo Travel is taking its' readers and avid travellers to Uvs province. The province is famous for its' Lakes as being situated in the Great Lakes Depression in the western Mongolia. And Uvs is also home of many renowned Mongolian wrestlers and Olympic medalists, and Uvs locals call them the Legends. Locals of Uvs take pride in their heredity of Oirat Confederation (Durvun Oirad) – one of the most powerful khanates of 15-16th century in the Central Asia. Uvs province is named after Mongolia's largest lake Uvs.

Uvs province borders with Khovd, Zavkhan and Bayan-Ulgii provinces, along with Russia in the north. And the territory is a picturesque combination of snow capped mountains, crystal clear waters, and even large sand dunes at some parts. The the highest point is Mt. Tsagaan Deglii at 4250m above sea level. Ulaangom is the centre of Uvs province and is 1400km from Ulaanbaatar. The population of Uvs is about 75000, an estimated 40% are nomadic herders; ethnic groups such as Durvud (40%), Bayad (35%), Khoton (9%), and Khalkha (15%) live in Uvs – many of the ethnic groups speak their own special dialects of Mongolian language. And the most famous people from modern Uvs include: Tsedenbal Yumjaa – Chairman of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party; Duudei and Givaan – Hero of the Nation; Sanjjav, Tumendemberel and 5 others – Hero of Labour; Altankhuyag Norov – prime minister of Mongolia; Bayanmunkh Khorloo – Champion of National wrestling and Olympic silver medalist, to name just a few.

UNESCO world heritage site "Uvs Nuur (Lake) Basin" is in this province: Uvs Nuur Basin (1,068,853 ha), is the northernmost of the enclosed basins of Central Asia. It takes its name from Uvs Nuur Lake, a large, shallow and very saline lake, important for migrating birds, waterfowl and seabirds. The site is made up of 12 protected areas representing the major biomes of eastern Eurasia. The steppe ecosystem supports a rich diversity of birds and the desert is home to a number of rare gerbil, jerboas and the marbled polecat. The mountains are an important refuge for the globally endangered snow leopard (Tsookhor irves), mountain sheep (Argali) and the Asiatic ibex (Yangir). The ancient lake basin and its surroundings boast an extraordinary landscape diversity ranging from cold desert to desert-steppe and steppe, conifer, deciduous and floodplain forests to diverse wetlands and marshlands, freshwater and saltwater systems, mobile and fixed sand dunes and even tundra. The property includes peaks up to some 4000 m, towering high above Lake Uvs Nuur at around 800 m. The area also contains remnant glaciers from Pleistocene ice sheets and numerous glacial lakes, and is of particular scientific significance for studying the evolution from the Ice Age to present-day conditions. Reflecting the landscape diversity, there is a rich species diversity which includes locally endemic plants and endangered species like the snow leopard. The entire basin has never been subjected to large-scale resource exploitation and has a longstanding and ongoing history of mobile pastoralism. The historical, cultural and spiritual importance of the landscape and many of its features are reflected in countless artefacts and archaeological sites and in the contemporary life, knowledge, resource use, songs and legends of local and indigenous communities.

There are many notable places to visit besides Lake Uvs, starting from lakes Khyargas, Airag, Achit, Uureg (these Lakes are great spots for bird watchers), and rivers Tes, Khovd, Kharkhiraa, Turgen and mountains such as Kharkhiraa, Turgen and Khan Khukhii. Uvs province contains some of the most important historical sites in Mongolia: Mt. Chandmani, and is a home to about 100 balbal (man stones), 21 groups of petroglyphs, hundreds of ancient rock inscriptions and burial mounds to please history lovers.

Moreover, enjoying a homestay at a local family is a great travel experience in Uvs for travellers can experience lifestyles of various ethnic groups. Also Uvs province offers some excellent adventure travels besides culture experiencing, such as mountain climbing in the snow capped mountains of Kharkhiraa, Turgen and Khan-Khukhii, horse riding in all areas of the province, rafting and fishing on the rivers such as Khovd, Kharkhiraa etc.

PLACES TO VISIT: Kharkhiraa-Turgen Mountains & Valley, The Great Lakes, Uvs Nuur Basin, Altan Els sand dunes, Khan Khukhii Mountains, Goojuur Waterfalls to name a few.

NOTABLE EVENTS: Ulaangom Naadam is usually on 10-11 July annually with soum Naadams taking place in the first half of July; Oirat Cultural Festival is in August (please enquire Mongolian travel companies for exact event dates).

BEST TIME TO VISIT: We'd recommend travellers visit to Uvs province in milder months from May till the middle of October.  

HOW TO GET THERE: Both AeroMongolia and Hunnu Airways have flights to Ulaangom, almost everyday. If you drive it takes a few days to reach Uvs (the road partially paved).

WHERE TO STAY: there are several hotels in Ulaangom town, and a motel or two (mostly with no running water facilities) in most soums. There are a number of tourist Ger camps across the province: Khetsuu Khad, Ontsiin Tasarkhai, Khar Termes, Uvs Nuur and so on.

For a wonderful Uvs tours and travel experiences, please contact local Mongolian travel companies – some travel companies offer set group tours and some may tailor excellent tours especially for you and your loved ones.

These beautiful photos are courtesy of Erdenebulgan Travel Photography. Thank you for your cooperation!

Prepared exclusively for GoGo Travel by Zola
(Co-founder of Premium Travel Mongolia LLC.
www.mongoliatravelmarket.com)
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

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Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex

14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1

Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
Email: info@covermongolia.com
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1 comment:

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