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Friday, April 8, 2016
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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Erdene Resource expanding Mongolian gold deposits
(Resoure World Magazine, April/May 2016) --
Wolf Petroleum: Legal Update on Claim by Ngaanyatjarra Council
April 7 -- As announced on 14 March 2016 Wolf Petroleum Limited ('the Company'), as Second Defendant, had been served with an Originating Process by Ngaanyatjarra Council (Aboriginal Corporation) ('NCAC') for the winding up on the grounds of insolvency. The amount claimed by NCAC was $104,880.91.
The First Defendant to the Originating Process is Palgrave Resources Ltd (ACN 116 047 299) ('First Defendant').
The Company has an indemnity from the First Defendant in respect of the claim by NCAC.
The Company wishes to advise that the hearing of the winding up on the grounds of insolvency to be heard on 7 April 2016 has been adjourned until 21 April 2016 by mutual consent.
MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.11%, ALL -0.36%, Turnover ₮52.4 Million Shares
April 7 (MSE) --
Historic low ₮2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, April 7 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM declines USD bid, CNY ask offers, accepts US$4m MNT, CNY20m CNY swap offers, declines $20m USD
April 7 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on April 7th, 2016, the BOM has received buying bid offers of USD 33.0 million in a rate between MNT 2037.00-2042.00 and selling bid offers of CNY 2.0 million in a rate with MNT 315.36. The BOM did not accept any bid offers.
On April 7th, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 4.0 million, USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 20.0 million and MNT-CNY swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to CNY 20.0 from local commercial banks respectively. The BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 4.0 million and MNT-CNY swap agreement buying bid offers of CNY 20.0 million and did not accept the USD swap agreement selling bid offers of USD 20.0 million.
Mongolia's premier sets stall out for foreign investors
April 7 (FinanceAsia) Mongolia is at the crossroads of Asia and offers plenty of investment opportunities for foreigners.
That was the sales pitch offered by the country's prime minister, Saikhanbileg Chimed, at a media luncheon held on Thursday as part of Credit Suisse's 19th Annual Asian Investment Conference.
The geographically vast, demographically tiny north Asian country has had a rough time over the past two years. The vast majority of its gross domestic product is related to mining, principally for coal, copper and gold, but the commodity cycle's plummet has crushed Mongolian export revenues and left the government with worryingly large deficits.
To secure its own financial future, the country's government is attempting to introduce reforms to open up the economy to more investment. Chimed described Mongolia (somewhat optimistically) as being an ideal Asian crossroads for transportation, telecommunication, and energy.
"We have 300 days of sun every year. If you consider our potential for solar and wind power we could become the energy hub for the whole of the Asian continent," he said to the audience of investors, journalists, and Credit Suisse employees.
Chimed went on to describe agribusiness (the country has 56 million heads of livestock compared with its populace of just 3.5 million), healthcare, tourism, and manufacturing as areas of untapped investment opportunities, in addition to its traditionally dominant mining sector.
The prime minister's fairly naked pitch is a sign of Mongolia's growing need to drum up foreign capital and help diversify its economy.
The country's myopic focus on mining – it became known as 'Minegolia' in some circles – and selling these commodities to China was hugely beneficial to begin with. The company registered 17% GDP growth in 2011 and minerals account for 94% of exports.
But betting its entire economy on digging up minerals left Mongolia in a lot of trouble once its huge southern neighbour lost its appetite for them. The price of copper surged from $5,000 per tonne to around $10,000 in 2011 but has since fallen back to $4,776.
"Mining is 80% of the economy; we want to decrease this a great deal," Chimed said.
The boom-bust cycle has left the country with GDP growth of 2.3%, a fiscal deficit of 7.9%, and an inflation rate of 6.6% in 2015. Its economic prospects in the short term are also bleak, for all of Chimed's optimism. The Asian Development Bank thinks the nation's economy will grow by just 0.1% this year and by 0.5% in 2017.
Meanwhile, the government is struggling to contain a disenchanted populace that feel they missed out entirely on the good times and are now suffering in the bad. Thousands of locals protested in Ulaanbaatar on March 30 over the unequal distribution of wealth as a result of mining revenues.
Despite all this, investors remain relatively supportive of Mongolia. The country priced a $500 million 10.875% five-year bond deal on the same day as the protests, to good investor interest. The eye-watering coupon rate is a reflection of Mongolia's difficult economic situation and its B2/B/B credit rating scores. However, investor interest was piqued by the prospect of the current Democratic Party government becoming more investment friendly.
Their hopes largely rest on the Democratic Party winning the general election on June 29 against the anti-foreign direct investment Mongolian People's Party (Mogi: getting it a bit wrong here). The latter has already made Chimed's life difficult in passing pro-FDI legislation, although it reduced its obstructionism when the country pulled in just $230 million in 2015 versus $5 billion in 2011.
Mongolia's financial constraints were also eased after it received a $250 million loan from Credit Suisse on March 14.
It's worth putting these amounts in the context of the Mongolian economy; the combined bond and loan values are equivalent to 6.1% of Mongolia's total GDP of $12.3 billion.
Rays of hope
Despite the country's very real difficulties, Chimed offered a hopeful view for the future. With the opposition party having temporarily suspended outright opposition to FDI, Chimed is rapidly working to make mining and infrastructure agreements. He noted that Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto signed a $4.4 billion agreement in December for the second phase of its Oyu Tolgoi mining project in the south of the country. Construction on this will begin in May (the ADB estimates the project will generate $2.2 billion in local capital expenditure by 2022).
Chimed also said that the country's stock exchange is liaising with the London Stock Exchange to promote liquidity. And the government hopes to organise its various public companies under an umbrella investment company similar to Singapore's Temasek, to be privately managed. "We have asked the ADB and others to help us make it," he said.
In addition, Chimed said the government wants to make a sovereign wealth fund with the revenues it accrues from mining. Such a decision is not doubt in part designed to rebut political and popular complaints that only business and political elites and foreign mining companies seem to benefit from the country's mineral wealth. However, it would still be a sensible move for a small country to secure some long-term benefits if implemented effectively.
Chimed lastly noted that he felt infrastructure investments offered the best capital investment opportunities for foreign investors, adding that the government has been building roads and facilitated three big railroad projects as it aims to get the transportation links in place to truly make it an Asian crossroads.
"In Hong Kong right now it's hard to find infrastructure projects, whereas in Mongolia it's like white paper, there's a lot of potential," Chimed said. "From Beijing [to Ulaanbaatar] we spent one and a half hours [of flying time], and Hong Kong is four hours [from Ulaanbaatar], and from Siberia it's a couple of hours. So this geographical location [is central] and investing in infrastructure right now is the most important sector."
Mongolia Is Ultimate Place to Invest: Prime Minister
April 7 (Bloomberg) Prime Minister of Mongolia Saikhanbileg Chimed discusses Mongolia's economy and why he says it's a great place to invest. He speaks exclusively to Bloomberg's Haidi Lun on "Asia Edge" from the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.
Mogi thinks Alex is underestimating the power of organic meat, J
Invest in Mongolia? Try the Meat
Mongolian Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed tried to put a happy face on the non-mining parts of the economy.
April 7 (WSJ) Poor Mongolia has had a rough ride of late. Its mining boom, based on feeding neighboring China coal and copper, has turned into a bust. The country's currency has plunged and foreign exchange reserves have depleted. It did manage last week to raise a $500 million bond from international markets, but at an interest rate of nearly 11%. Less than 3 1/2 years ago, it paid 4.125% on a similar bond.
Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed, speaking to investors at a Credit Suisse conference in Hong Kong, tried to put a happy face on the non-mining parts of the economy. For instance, he boasted of the country's herd of 54 million livestock, notably sheep, goats, horses, camels and yaks, who graze on Mongolia's vast and empty steppes. "We have the most democratic livestock, because they are free to go where they want and eat what they want," he said. That makes for the world's tastiest organic meat, apparently. Too bad meat isn't as valuable as copper.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Meets Prime Minister of Mongolia
April 7 (news.gov.hk) The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, met the visiting Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr Chimed Saikhanbileg, at Government House this afternoon (April 7) to exchange views on issues of mutual concern.
Mr Leung said that Hong Kong plays an active role in facilitating the implementation of the country's Belt and Road Initiative. Noting that Mongolia is one of the countries along the Belt and Road, he said that the two sides could enhance economic and trade co-operation to tap the vast development opportunities brought about by the Initiative. He also welcomed Mongolian enterprises to establish a presence in Hong Kong to leverage on the city's role as a "super-connector" to open up more business opportunities.
Sant Maral PolitBarometer, March 2016
El2. "If Parliament Elections were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?"
Mongolian People's Party
Civic Will - Green Party
National Labour Party
G6. Which political party can best solve the problem (in reference to question above)?
Mongolian People's Party
Civic Will - Green Party
MNDP(New National Party)
Top 10 politicians
P8. in Ulan Bator
P9. in Countryside
3. Battulga Kh
5. S. Byambatsogt
6. B. Bat-Erdene
7. J. Batsuur
8. Enkhbold Z.
9. B. Bat-Erdene
10. Battulga Kh
Gl1. Which country is the best partner for Mongolia?
No names were suggested, each respondent could mention up to two countries.
3000 shoes demonstrate at Chinggis Square
April 7 (gogo.mn) Temperature in Ulaanbaatar city was cold and windy today. However 3000 shoes demonstration held at Chinggis square.
People left their shoes with their opinion written on the paper.
Boot protest held today at Chingis Khaan square – Montsame, April 7
MPs G.Uyanga and L.Tsog officially leave Justice Coalition Caucus
April 7 (news.mn) Last month, the members of Parliament G.Uyanga and L.Tsog made a request to leave the Justice Union Group. Subsequently, the director of the group, N.Battsereg, presented the request to Parliament; today, the Speaker has read their request out to Parliament and announced that they have been officially removed from the group.
They explained their reason for leaving the group by saying: "the Justice Union Group is not working for the justice, but rather is working for job positions. We cannot agree with that". The Justice Union Group now has only 8 members.
Parliament approves ₮16.4 billion budget for holding 2016 elections
April 7 (gogo.mn) The cost of running the 2016 parliamentary and city council election has been approved as MNT 16.4 billion today at the plenary session of the State Great Hural.
Ts.Sodnomtseren, Head of General Election Commission said that election budget decreased by MNT 500 million compared to the previous year while the number of people of voting age increased by 146 thousand. Thus 2091 polling places to be established. General Election Commission tries to reduce the election budget every year.
Therefore, General Election Commission is set to spend MNT 16.4 billion on the upcoming election with the 50 MPs support out of 59 MPs.
Some 16 billion Togrog will be needed for elections – Montsame, April 7
Parliament approves electoral budget – news.mn, April 7
Mongolia asks OSCE to observe 2016, 2017 elections
April 7 (news.mn) The director of the General Electoral Commission, Ch.Sodnomtseren, has had a meeting with representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). During the meeting, which took place on 5th April, Mr Sodnomtseren requested OSCE to oversee the upcoming general parliamentary election which will be held this June and the presidential election, which will be held in 2017. He noted that the previous oversight by OSCE and the conclusions provided proved a big stimulus; the conclusions definitely have boosted Mongolia's rating.
The OSCE representatives provided the necessary answers about the duty, rights and structure of the electoral organization, how to choose electoral staff, the matter of changing the electoral law before the election, ensuring sufficient funding for the election, defects in the electoral law, controlling promotional activity, voting rights of Mongolian citizens abroad and the number of the female candidates.
26 years old today: DP celebrates its birthday
April 7 (news.mn) Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Democratic Party. On 7th April 1990, the first meeting of the Democratic Party (DP) was held. A year ago, the DP declared that it is to become a political party without any factions.
Today, Parliamentary Speaker Z.Enkhbold, who is also Chairman of the Democratic Party, congratulated Mongolians with the 26th anniversary. On 8th April, the DP plans to have a "Extended Meeting" at Ikh Tenger. During this meeting, the issue about the unity of the DP will be discussed.
PM meets HK Trade Development Council executive director, speaks to CNN
Ulaanbaatar, April 7 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg Wednesday met Ms Margaret Fong, the executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), while taking part in the 19th Annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.
When sharing views on boosting of the trade and investments ties between Mongolia and Hong Kong, the PM said that, since Hong Kong is one of the largest in the world international business centers, the Mongolian side proposes participating in a meeting, organized by the HKTDC, and making a partnership with the Council.
The sides also touched upon a chance to take actions in 2017 to advertise Mongolia-made products and brands.
The Premier invited Ms Fong to the international business forum which will run in frames of the upcoming 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar.
After this, the Mongolian companies/producers were invited to the international fair of foods that is expected this August in Hong Kong. Some 100 countries' companies will attend the measure, as supposed.
Following the meeting, the Premier Saikhanbileg gave an interview to the CNN Asia TV channel.
PM takes part in Erdenes Mongol's meeting with Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board
Ulaanbaatar, April 7 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg took part in a meeting themed "Strategic reforms in investment" that was ran Wednesday by the "Erdenes MGL" LLC during the 19th Annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.
Mr Saikhanbileg gave information about a present economic situation in Mongolia and a policy pursued in mining and infrastructure, and said Mongolian government is paying attention to a creation of favorable for foreign investors conditions.
Executive director of the "Erdenes MGL" LLC B.Byambasaikhan talked about strategic reforms in the company and its plans targeted at strengthening the project management on investment and at operating the company in accordance with a business principle for profits. He also pointed out that the "Erdenes MGL" LLC is performing a renovation together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade the management potential of associated companies and to introduce a complex information system with a new project management on finance, supplying and investment.
Present at the meeting were also Kh.Gantsogt, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance; N.Monkhbat, executive director of the Development Bank of Mongolia; Mark Machin, a senior managing director & president of international investment at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Turkish firm breaks ground on 92.8MW hydropower plant in western Mongolia
April 7 (news.mn) On Wednesday 6th April the construction of Mongolia's newest hydro-electric power station began. Located at "Tavaltain Khavtsal" on the River Khovd in the Nogoonnuur soum (district) of Bayan-Ulgii Province, the most mountainous part of the country, the new power station will provide power for the west of the country. The three westernmost provinces are often plagued by blackouts and are largely dependent on Russian electricity.
The plant, which has a 92.8 megawatt generating capacity, is being financed by USD 248 million from the Turkey's "ZTM Engineering and Consulting Co. Inc". On 15th March 2015, the Government agreed that "ZTM" would undertake the technical and economic feasibility study and be involved in the construction of the plant. Exactly a year ago, on 6th April 2015, the Mongolian Government confirmed that the "Tavaltain Khavtsal" hydro-electric plant would be constructed under "build-operate-transfer" (BOT) terms as set out in the "Law on Concessions". Yesterday, the first drilling work for the foundations began.
"ZTM" company has already undertaken a Mongolian Energy Master Plan using their own investment.
April 6 (Global Green Growth Institute) On April 06, GGGI delivered the keynote address at the 7th National Renewable Energy Forum in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The Forum served to facilitate discussion and action on Mongolia's energy-related policies and projects, including efforts to increase the share of renewable energy in the total installed capacity to 20% by 2020.
More than 300 experts from government, non-government organizations, research institutions and the private sector participated in the one-day Forum. In his opening remarks, H.E. Z. Enkhbold, Chair of the State Great Hural of Mongolia, emphasized the need to bridge the current gap between renewables potential and project finance.
Ms. Mahua Acharya, GGGI Assistant Director-General and Head of the Knowledge Solutions Division, presented on the challenges and opportunities in financing for renewable energy and green growth, and detailed how GGGI is helping to bridge the "financing gap" between capital providers and capital receivers in developing economies.
As a Forum co-organizer, GGGI convened a side-event to raise awareness about green growth and gauge participant perceptions of green energy. These valuable insights will be used by GGGI in its work with the Government of Mongolia to develop market driven mechanisms to integrate renewables into infrastructure, such as sub-district heating systems. Through green infrastructure project preparation, GGGI is supporting the government's efforts to identify public and private financing for near-term piloting and long-term project replication.
"Today's Forum is a valuable platform for stakeholders to strengthen Mongolia's renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, and a good opportunity for GGGI to showcase its results to date and ongoing work to accelerate Mongolia's transition to green growth," said Ms. Acharya.
Energy is one of the three core thematic pillars of GGGI's country planning framework with the Government of Mongolia for 2016-2020. The implementation strategies for low-carbon, socially inclusive energy systems in Mongolia that GGGI developed have helped shape ambitious energy targets adopted by the government. GGGI's next phase of support is focused on finding innovative models for low carbon infrastructure, particularly energy efficiency.
GGGI is also currently conducting an analysis of alternative heating systems in Mongolia, with a focus on the potential for efficiency and renewable energy solutions to reduce air pollution caused by the burning of coal, and is supporting a government prefeasibility assessment of solid waste-to-energy options in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Read more about GGGI's work in Mongolia here.
Biggest auto show in Mongolia to be held on Apr 9
April 7 (gogo.mn) The biggest and best auto festival of Mongolia, "VIP DRIFT SHOW" will be held on Apr 09 at Auto Market Complex.
Automobile lovers, unique car collectors, automobile and motorcycle clubs including Mongolia UAZ club, Patrol Y60 Club, MGL TRIAL BMX CLUB, ZVW30 club, and Mongolian Pajero club to participate in the 5th Vip Drift Show.
Moreover, car auction will be held at the festival.
· Taxes for the audience is MNT 10,000
· Taxes for the car is MNT 20,000
"MARRY ME" Wedding Fair this Weekend at Shangri-La Hotel
April 7 (gogo.mn) Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar to exhibit wedding fair on Apr 09, 10 with more than 30 exhibits and professionals including samples of their designs, photos of reception, and new ideas to make your wedding special.
"Marry me" wedding fair offers you;
· Bridal fashion - Gown & Suit
· Flower and table decorations
· Photography / Video
· Hair & Make up
· Stage & Lighting
· Sound system
· Wedding cakes
· Food tasting
· Honeymoon Destinations
· Wedding gift ideas
· Lucky Draw
· Live Music performance
Ticket is available at the reception of Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar at MNT 30'000 and ticket for couples is MNT 50,000.
For more information, please contact at (976) 7702 9999 or click HERE.
City Council approves bridge to be constructed from Altai Town – Dund River Road
Ulaanbaatar, April 7 (MONTSAME) A 30.75 meters steel-concrete bridge will be built from an auto road in "Altai" apartment town to road of the Dund River, under a concession contract.
By the decision made Monday at a regular meeting of the Citizens' Representative Khural (Council) of Ulaanbaatar, the "DYKB" LLC has been selected to perform this works under the "build-transfer" type.
The eight-meter wide bridge will have two pedestrian lines each 1.5m wide. Traffic lights and illumination will be installed as well.
By the concession, the project demands one billion 579 million 799 thousand and 551 Togrog. The "DYKB" LLC will receive 70% of the expenses in 2017, and 30%--in 2018.
Russian Foreign Minister to visit Mongolia on April 14
Ulaanbaatar, April 7 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr S.V.Lavrov will pay a one-day official visit to Mongolia this April 14 by invitation of his Mongolian counterpart L.Purevsuren. The two FMs will hold talks, after which Mr Lavrov will be received by the President Ts.Elbegdorj and the Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg.
Korean doctors to perform free surgeries on six children with ventricular septal defects
April 7 (gogo.mn) Korean doctors will perform free surgery on six children with ventricular septal defect in Korea.
Preliminary health examination will be performed before the cardiac surgery and today at 10:00 AM, an introduction event will take place in 5 stage yellow building with sign 'The Salvation Army' next to 032 military unit, on a way up from Ofitzer palace to Tsaiz area.
This is the 9th time of this work and please contact 9199-7268 for more information.
Mongolia: When Your Animals Are Your Life
April 7 (British Red Cross) How would you feel about keeping a goat or two in your living room? Every night, Bayankhand Myagmar shares her one-room home with her husband, son, daughter, and some cold and hungry goats.
This traditional herder family is caught up in Mongolia's dzud – a hot, dry summer followed by an extremely cold winter. Temperatures can fall as low as -60C at night.
First, the summer drought means there is not enough grass and hay stocks are low. The animals get weak from hunger and the bitterly cold winter finishes them off.
That's why Bayankhand carries her frailest goats inside her traditional tent, or ger. Without her help, they risk night-time death from starvation and exposure.
A TRAGEDY FOR HERDER FAMILIES
Mongolia's ancient herding tradition is still the backbone of the economy, supporting around a third of its population.
The country is also the world's second largest producer of cashmere. Its three million people look after approximately 45 million animals.
Yet dzuds happen every few years and in each one, families have lost livestock – sometimes their whole herd.
Bayankhand has already lost 400 of her 700 cows, sheep and goats.
"If they get weak and die in front of my eyes, it's very, very hard," she says.
"I feel so sorry for them. I tried to save them but I couldn't."
Mrs Dogoonoo has fared even worse: she lost 210 of her 230 animals this year.
She is trying everything to keep the rest of the herd alive and also brings the weakest animals, like the calf in the picture above, into her ger.
FINANCIAL HELP TO SAVE A WAY OF LIFE
The Myagmar and Dogoonoo households are among 5,100 families – 25,000 people in all – who are getting Red Cross support this year.
Those who are particularly vulnerable, such as families with older or disabled members, get food parcels and cash grants.
They can use the grants to meet their most pressing needs, usually paying for shelter, fuel and healthcare.
Other families will buy supplies they need. Hay and other animal fodder is often their first purchase.
"We prepared hay quite well for the winter and bought one ton of wheat, two tons of fodder. It all ran out.
"We also finished hay and fodder from the government," Bayankhand said.
Keeping their livestock alive keeps the family going as well.
Without some financial support now, families could face bankruptcy and be forced to abandon their homes. People who lose their herds often end up living in gers in the slums of industrial cities.
WHEN THE WORST HAPPENS
Khurelbaatar Tovuu lost all his animals in the last dzud in 2010 and moved to a ger in the district centre.
"We used to sell wool and cashmere at the market, and we had milk and yoghurt for our children from our animals," Khurelbaatar said.
Now, he occasionally gets seasonal work slaughtering animals or helping other herders feed their weaker stock.
"My reputation has gone down," he said. "People started treating me badly because I'm a poor man."
To help, over 2,000 Mongolians like Khurelbaatar in slum areas get visits from over 780 Red Cross volunteers twice a month.
Volunteers assist them with whatever is needed, such as bringing food, medicine or warm clothes, or taking someone for medical treatment.
They also offer emotional support – many have not only lost their animals but also left friends and family behind to come to the city.
SUPPORT FOR LONG-TERM CHANGE
While dzuds are a natural phenomenon in Mongolia, the UN says that climate change is making them worse.
Future preparation for dzuds and other disasters will be essential. Thanks to people who support our work through the Disaster Fund, the British Red Cross will now work with the Mongolia Red Cross Society to help.
Simple steps such as storing hay where it can be reached in harsh winter conditions can make a big difference.
People will also be supported to learn new skills so they can supplement their income.
"Vocational training and small business development are an important part of our Mongolia emergency programme" says Dr Enkhjin Garid from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
"It is not enough just to keep people alive for a few months; we also need to ensure that the herders have a secure livelihood in the future."
People in Need helps the east Mongolian herders who suffer from extreme frost
Ulaanbaatar, April 7, 2016 (People in Need) - Sixteen of the twenty one Mongolian provinces were hit with extreme cold called "zud". During this year's zud, daytime temperatures hovered around negative 25 ° C and at night dropped to negative 40 ° C. Large amounts of snow and thick layers of ice covered most of the pastures. These extreme conditions have killed more than 200,000 farm animals. For some Mongolian herders, animals are the only source of livelihood. According to the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), dzud has affected nearly 965,000 people. People in Need (PIN), together with the EU and the Caritas Czech Republic, helps people in the provinces of Süchbátar, Chenti, Dornod and Dornogobi in the east of Mongolia. The most vulnerable families who lost their animals receive food packages. Food aid will help them survive the most critical period before they can rebuild their livelihoods.
"Last year, Mongolia has experienced an extremely dry summer, after which usually comes zud. Together with other international humanitarian organizations we have been there from early winter and mapped and assessed the situation and needs on the ground," said regional coordinator for Asia PIN Petr Drbohlav. "Currently, our staff on the ground is distributing food parcels to the most vulnerable families in two provinces in the east of the country," he adds. People in Need has a permanent office and development programs in Mongolia since the winter of 2010, when the country also faced zud.
Lack of food
The thirty-three year old father of two children, Zorigtbaatar Baasanjav, is living as a shepherd. Before zud he had a herd of about 165 animals. This year's frost had left him only a little more than 30 animals. "In the winter I tried to prepare and prepare a large inventory of hay and feed. But I've never seen zud in previous years, so for me this winter was extremely difficult. All supplies are gone. Now I have no hay or enough money to purchase more, "says Baasanjav. "Food from the People in Need help us survive this difficult period. In the future I will buy new cattle so I can take care of my family," he adds. His son, Nomin Erdene, accompanies him. At the age of five he can already ride a horse and talks about how he enjoys life with animals in the countryside.
Going to town is not a solution
Many Mongolian herdsmen, due to the harsh frosts, go in search of livelihood in gers on the outskirts of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. There is usually not enough suitable work and extreme poverty and other social problems are part of life. Therefore, most of the local nomads don't want to give up their way of life and move to the city because they do not see solutions to their problems.
Gantsog Lhagvasuren is forty one years old and a father of four children. To be able to feed his large family he breeds horses, goats, sheep and cattle; a total of 100 animals. This year's zud cost him nearly half of them. "The harsh winter I have not experienced. 40 animals were killed. But I believe that we will again stand on our own feet and live unassisted. Even if I had just five goats left and relocated to the city. What would I do there? I'd rather take care of my flock, if I can," says Gantsog Lhagvasuren. "My kids will one day be able to decide whether they want to continue as herdsmen," he adds. His youngest daughter, seven-year Ganzul, cheerfully agreed: "I would not want to live in the city. I will live just like my dad and mom."
Distribution of food parcels
Animals for Mongolian families are not only a source of livelihood with which they can trade. For example, sheep's wool in Mongolia is an important building material. Animals are also an important source of milk, cheese and meat that will help them survive in very harsh conditions.
Loss of livestock for a family without sufficient savings is extremely detrimental. "We focus on families who need our help most. They receive food packages with basic foods such as rice, flour, oil, sugar, salt, and more. We do this in areas where people are faced with the unavailability of local markets. They are often hundreds of kilometers away from markets and people do not have the means to get there. "Roads are impassable during this time and direct food assistance will be much appreciated in these areas,"says Jaroslav Petrik PIN ordinator for Mongolia. "At the moment we are trying to provide humanitarian assistance to almost 250 households. We also continue to assess needs on the ground and we are ready to provide help for more than 2000 other families," he adds.
People in Need in Mongolia
PIN began working in Mongolia during the zud in 2010, when the country was hit by an unusually severe frost, which killed 160 thousand heads of cattle. Herdsmen families were provided with financial and material assistance, allowing them to resume their agricultural trade and prepare for the next hard winter. Since 2011, PIN has a permanent mission in Mongolia. It has supported vocational training and small-scale agriculture, improved the availability and quality of health services in remote rural areas, provided education through documentary films and taught how to use wool as building insulation material. PIN in Mongolia conducted aid in cooperation with Caritas Czech Republic with the support of the European Commission (ECHO). The support of the Czech public who contributed through Club of Friends of People in Need was also extremely helpful. People in Need would like to thank all donors for their support.
For more information please contact:
Jaroslav Petrik PIN cordinator for Mongolia, M: +420 778 485 029 firstname.lastname@example.org
Petr Drbohlav, regional coordinator for Asia PIN, M: +420 724 329 285 email@example.com
US Homeland Security Returns Rare Dinosaur Fossils To Mongolia
April 7 (Forbes) US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are known for protecting the borders of the United States, but they aren't usually known seizing 80 million year old dinosaurs. But it's a good thing they did—this week HSI officials were able to return priceless stolen fossils to Mongolia, a result of years of tireless investigation into the secret world of illegal fossil dealing in the US.
Mongolian laws strictly prevent the sale and export of dinosaur fossils, but it appears these spectacular fossils ended up illegally trafficked into the United States, as they were turned up during investigations into fossil smuggling in Wyoming and New York. Seven fossils were prepared for shipment back to Mongolia in a ceremony held in New York this week. Some of the returned fossils include a skull of the rare tyrannosaur Alioramus, a complete skeleton of a Protoceratops, and a nest of Protoceratops eggs.
At the ceremony, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, Robert L. Capers, lent his support to the Mongolian Ambassador to the United States, Altangerel Bulgaa.
"We are proud of our role in restoring this rich paleontological heritage to the Mongolian people and taking these cultural treasures from the hands of looters and smugglers. We stand beside the people of Mongolia by disrupting the international trade in smuggled fossils and returning them to their home where they will be studied and treasured."
The Alioramus skull is especially exciting, as this tyrannosaur is extremely rare and only comes from Mongolia's Gobi Desert. US authorities describe it as the most complete skull of this species ever discovered. This skull was discovered by HSI officials after being shipped from France with papers claiming it was a replica—but it was absolutely the real deal.
Before this most recent batch of fossils, 23 dinosaur fossils had been returned to Mongolia from the United States within the last 3 years, with the most notable example in 2014. An incredible Tarbosaurus baatar specimen caused international incident when it nearly was sold at auction was later returned to Mongolia. Private fossil seller Eric Prokopi was sent to federal prison for a 3 month sentence for his role in smuggling the fossils.
Mongolian dinosaur bones seized in U.S. & returned to Asia – CCTV America, April 6
Bone smugglers: US returns stolen dinosaur fossils to Mongolia, again – Christian Science Monitor, April 7
New UB airport expected to be commissioned by May 2017 – Transport Minister
Ulaanbaatar, April 6 (MONTSAME) As of today, some 75 percent of construction have been completed of the international airport in Khoshig Valley of Tov aimag.
It is expected that the construction will be finished by January of 2017 and will be commissioned later in May, said the Minister of Road and Transportation M.Zorigt at the traditional "Hour of Minister" meeting on Thursday.
New flight gates have been opened between Mongolia and China. The two countries have concurred to let Chinese domestic flights fly in Mongolia's air space, "this is an evidence of that the quality of Mongolian navigation service and safety has become internationally recognized, and that a revenue will rise from the flight traffic over Mongolian territories", the Minister said.
M.Zorigt went on that one of the biggest works in the civil aviation is a start of flights from Ulaanbaatar to Khovd province by "Boeing 737 800" aircraft. This work is co-implemented by the Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) and the "Aero Mongolia" LLC, he said. Having landed in Khovd, anyone can fly to Bayan-Olgii and Zavkhan aimags by "Fokker 50" aircraft, enjoying a 40% discount, he said.
When talking about the railway sector, the Minister pointed out that Mongolia has constructed a 33.4km railroad with own capital, between Tomortei and Khandgait, and a first freight has been carried on the new railway. He added that works are projected to start this spring a construction of a railway between Tavan tolgoi and Gashuunsukhait.
The Minister said Mongolia, Russia and China reached a concurrence on making auto-road transit transportation through territories of the three countries.
In the road sector, 3,203.55km auto roads in 30 routes, and 1,346.6km steel concrete bridges in seven places will be built this year. A great construction in the roads will start this April 18 nationwide, said Zorigt.
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