Remarks for the Launch Event for USAID’s Climate Resilient Communities Project

AMBASSADOR RICHARD L. BUANGAN
LAUNCH EVENT FOR USAID’S CLIMATE RESILIENT COMMUNITIES PROJECT
HOLIDAY INN CONFERENCE ROOM
NOVEMBER 21, 2022

Good morning, and welcome to all of our distinguished guests. It’s an honor to be here with you all for today’s “Non-Stop for Disaster Resilience and Response, or DRR” event, in which we celebrate both the conclusion of the “Disaster Resilient Communities” project and the launch of the new “Climate Resilient Communities” project. As you know, both projects are funded by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID.

I’m glad this hybrid format provides an opportunity for us to meet in person and allows participation from all corners of Mongolia, including many of you who may not have been able to join otherwise. I would first like to thank all our partners and supporters who are joining us this morning:

Vice minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Gankhuleg
Deputy Chief of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Brigadier general Boldbaatar,
Ms. Bolortsetseg Bold, National Director, World Vision
Governors and other representatives from Ulaanbaatar, as well as the provinces of Dornod Dundgobi, Dornogobi, Gobi-Altai and Uvs

While I am a recent arrival to Mongolia, I know that it is prone to natural disasters – including earthquakes, forest and steppe fires, droughts, and dzuds. Unfortunately, climate change has increased the frequency and severity of many of these events. In addition, over the past year we have seen an increase in livestock diseases, which can have a devastating effect on herders.

Therefore, one of the goals of USAID is to assist in responding to these disasters, as well as building resilience so we are better prepared when the next one strikes. This includes a variety of things, from equipping NEMA and providing training to its first responders – to working with the General Authority for Veterinary Services and herders to identify livestock diseases more quickly to limit their spread – to providing support to farmers on planting livestock fodder that is more productive and resistant to drought and pests. All these activities build on the success of previous USAID-supported programs that have helped Mongolian communities prepare for and respond to natural threats.

Working with World Vision and our partners in the Mongolian government, this project will work with communities in rural areas in Mongolia, including the aimags of Dornod, Dornogobi, Dundgobi, Gobi-Altai and Uvs. In addition, since disaster impacts are felt not only in rural areas but also in Mongolia’s ever expanding urban centers, this project will involve Ulaanbaatar and some aimag centers. Altogether, we estimate that the project will provide training to more than 80,000 people.

I’m proud to say that this new program is another example of how USAID is ramping up in Mongolia under the U.S.-Mongolia Strategic Partnership. While USAID has been in Mongolia since 1991, over the last couple of years it has launched new initiatives in a variety of areas, including supporting small businesses, strengthening democratic institutions, improving energy governance, and assisting in it’s the fight against COVID-19. And I know there will be more to come.

The United States and Mongolia enjoy a strong, long-standing partnership built on common interests and shared democratic values. Our strategic partnership is more than just words on paper; it is about delivering real results. I am confident this program will deliver real results for the Mongolian people for years to come. Thanks again to all our partners, and I wish you all great success.