3 May 2012
World Bank Project to Curb Air Pollution, Improve Health in Ulaanbaatar
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The World Bank will provide a loan for Mongolia to reduce particulate emission pollution in Ulanbaatar by providing efficient heating stoves to low income families living in traditional ger tents in the outskirts of the country's capital and by supporting the municipal government in evaluating alternative infrastructure options.

World Bank25 April 2012: The World Bank is launching a program to install more energy efficient stoves and boilers to reduce air pollution in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, one of the world’s most polluted cities.

The Ulaanbaatar Clean Air Project is supported by US$45 million from the Government of Mongolia, as well as a US$15 million low interest loan from the International Development Association. The main goal of the project is to reduce particulate emissions, which are currently 6-7 times higher than the most lenient of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards, to a level that would meet Mongolia Air Quality Standards by reducing the coal and wood burned for cooking and heating in wintertime by 175,000 households in “ger” areas. Gers are traditional Mongolian nomadic tents, which former herders brought to periurban areas where they live without piped water, sanitation or basic city infrastructure.

The project will start by replacing stoves and low-pressure boilers with more energy efficient models that require less fuel and emit less particulate matter. Subsidies will be provided to bring down the costs of the new technology and the project will also enable the Ulaanbaatar Municipality to explore affordable housing options and to improve the environmental performance and efficiency of the urban district heating system that supplies apartments with heat and hot water.

Although air pollution, and the health risks that accompany it, come from many different sources, wintertime heating and cooking in ger areas has shown to contribute significantly to the problem in cold months of the year, when air pollution levels are much higher than in warmer months. [World Bank Press Release]