MONGOLIA

Mission start 2006
Impacted population 3,000

Lift vulnerable families out of poverty and prevent rural exodus

Context

Mongolia is a landlocked country between Russia in the north and China in the south, with particularly difficult climate conditions. In the winter, the temperature can drop to minus 40°C in some areas, while in the summer, the heat can be unbearable, exceeding 40°C.

Almost half of the country’s population – 3 million people – live in the capital. Rural-urban migration is a major problem in Mongolia, generating entire neighborhoods made out of yurts on the outskirts of Oulan-Bator. Unfortunately, migrants have very few job opportunities and live in extremely precarious sanitary conditions.

According to the Mongolian National Statistics Office, in 2016, 29.6% of Mongolians were poor according to the national poverty line. This represents an increase of 8 percentage points compared to the poverty line in 2014. Comparisons between rural and urban households living standards show that poverty has increased in rural areas more than in urban areas.

FXB in action

The aïmag of Dornogovi, a province located in the southeastern part of the Gobi Desert, is limited to a vast, flat and desolate area. 23.2% of its 67,000 inhabitants live in great poverty, with an unemployment rate of 68%. The majority of the families, both nomadic and sedentary, depend on breeding (goats, sheep, cows, horses and camels).

The main challenges they face are very low employment opportunities, unsustainable sources of income, limited access to services and vocational training opportunities, limited access to the capital necessary for the development of microenterprises and very low knowledge in terms of comprehensive financial information. Lack of motivation and hope, alcoholism and unsanitary housing, especially yurts, are also major problems. 

Our main objective is to help families in this desertic region create or seize opportunities where they live rather than migrate to the city of Oulan-Bator.

FXB has already conducted its first Economic and Community Development FXBVillage programme there, which has significantly helped improve the quality of life for approximately 100 families. 

Our ongoing programs

Lack of economic opportunities, adverse weather conditions, disease, poor housing… the poorest people in Dornogovi face a variety of complex challenges. It would be a mistake to address only the issue of income! Partial assistance, which only addresses one cause of poverty, is not a sufficient solution to overcome it.

Thus, our Community and Economic Development model FXBVillage allows us to provide, in three years, a complete response to the fundamental causes of poverty by simultaneously acting on its predominant factors. It is also about fighting gender discrimination and balancing gender relations so that women, who are more exposed to poverty, have access to the same economic and social opportunities.

Testimonial

Our FXBVillage programmes have brought about a real change in attitude among the people of the Gobi Desert, from a passive attitude of waiting for potential government subsidies to a positive, entrepreneurial attitude. Even local authorities recognize the effectiveness and impact of our actions on the population.

Erdenetuya Jambal, FXB Mongolia Program Director

Mission impact

In December 2018, 526 children and adults from the Dornogovi aïmag achieved socio-economic autonomy after three years of participation in the FXBVillage program. In terms of results, our final evaluation shows that the average families’ income is 162% higher than the income received at the beginning of the project and that they are able, on average, to save 17% of their income. 100% of the families eat 3 meals a day (compared to 12% at the beginning of the project). 100% of the families have access to an improved sanitary facility. 80% of the young graduates at the end of a vocational training course have found a job. 

The FXB Mongolia team and the families benefiting from its FXBVillage poverty reduction program have participated in the planting of nearly 90,000 trees adapted to the poor and arid soil of Dornogobi Aimag.

In October 2017, FXB Mongolia was awarded the “Mongolian Quality” trophy, rewarding the best NGOs in the country. Our project manager, Erdenetuya Jambal also received the “Best Manager” medal recognizing the quality of her work with the FXB Mongolia team and the vulnerable communities of the Dornogovi aïmag. 

In December 2019, FXB Mongolia received the Dornogovi aïmag’s best NGO award in its category, development.