With its wealth of natural resources, Mongolia has the potential for major economic expansion over the coming decade. However, it faces a range of challenges in harnessing this resource wealth for sustainable and equitable development. These challenges include: high levels of poverty (currently around 27 per cent); rapidly rising living costs for the poor owing to rising inflation; environmental degradation; and the narrowing of the country’s economic base. The Mongolian Government has identified key areas of need as: improved mining-sector governance; human-resource development to provide qualified employees; and a more inclusive growth model.
Beginning in 2014–15, the Extractives Program brings together existing Australian-funded extractives activities, such as a groundwater management project ($5 million) and a minerals sector vocational training project ($4 million) and provides some additional assistance to improve the management of resources by the Government of Mongolia.
Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program
$12 million (total including pre-existing activities), 2014–2018
The extractives sector will be a focus of Australia’s development cooperation with Mongolia in the years ahead. The Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program (AMEP) is the main vehicle for our engagement. The program uses Australian and global expertise to assist the sustainable development of Mongolia’s mining sector by assisting Mongolian Government agencies to improve regulation and governance.
Mongolia Vocational Training in the Minerals Resource Sector
$4 million, 2014–2018
Australia contributes funding to the GIZ (German aid agency) Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector Project. The project provides institutional support to the Dalanzadgad TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Centre in South Gobi (Omnogovi) province. Our investment builds on GIZ’s model, piloting new approaches to improve the Centre’s capacity to provide demand-driven training (based on industry needs) to the South Gobi community. This will help ensure the local community is better equipped to gain employment in the mining industry and other related industries. The investment will also provide lessons at the national level for scale-up in other areas of the country affected by mining.
GIZ – Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector
Groundwater Management in Southern Mongolia
$5 million, 2012–2019
Australia provides support to strengthen groundwater management in Mongolia’s south through a partnership with the World Bank. Delivered as part of the World Bank’s Mining Infrastructure Investment Support Project, the investment strengthens the capacity of Mongolian authorities to manage non-renewable groundwater resources. This will be achieved by piloting new institutional structures for groundwater management in three provincial capitals and by strengthening the Mongolian Water Authority’s ability to monitor groundwater.
Access to water is the linchpin of Mongolia’s long-term economic development. Without access to large, reliable quantities of water, mining operations and large-scale infrastructure in mining areas such as the southern Gobi region will not be possible.
World Bank Mongolia – Mining Infrastructure Investment Support Project