On 6 April, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MoFALI) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a new project aimed at creating new employment opportunities for youth in the agribusiness sector. This project is part of the larger European Union funded (EU) technical assistance project “SDG aligned budgeting to transform employment in Mongolia” that will be jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The SDG aligned budgeting project aims to support employment and promotion of decent work and improved public finance management systems through results-oriented budget initiatives as direct contribution to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
During the signing ceremony, Mr. Traian Hristea, European Union Ambassador to Mongolia, highlighted that “The European Union has been supporting employment creation and decent work in Mongolia since 2015. Our previous project “Support to Employment Creation in Mongolia” project reached successful results in innovative approaches for strengthening the value chain in the agriculture sector and creating more than 2500 jobs in the sector. This new project’ focus will be employment creation for youth and people with disabilities. The European Union is happy to cooperate with Ministry of Agriculture and Light Industry and the Food and Agriculture Organization.”
FAO component will particularly look into effective public-private partnership models with large scale youth employment potential in agriculture value chains, improve the agri-value chains to be developed through introduction of organizational and technical innovations, most importantly building competitive national Mongolian food brands in national and international markets with scope for scaling up, building evidence and establishing lessons for policy development.
Minister Z.Mendsaikhan said “EU funded “Support to Employment Creation in Mongolia”- known as the SECIM project was successfully implemented with FAO. SECIM project was closely aligned with the strategic objectives of the Ministry, in the value chain and cluster development of the sector. I have no doubts that this new project will bring many good outcomes as well.”
Mr. Vinod Ahuja FAOR in Mongolia emphasized “I am thrilled to see continuous support and sustainable development of employment sector in agriculture. Supporting youth employability in agriculture is a long-term investment into the sector itself. As a specialized technical agency of the UN, we will be bringing the best practices ad expertise through the project.”
The signing ceremony was also attended by Ms. Elaine Conkievich, UNDP Resident Representative. As the lead implementing agency, Ms. Conkievich said “Intersectoral cooperation and coordination of all participating institutions specified in the project implementation plan are critical for the project’s success due to its complexity and nature of the reforms expected. As a trusted partner and development solutions facilitator in Mongolia, UNDP remains committed to work with all of our partners to ensure successful implementation of the project”.
The European Union has disbursed the first 16-million-euro to the Government of Mongolia which is part of the 50.8-million-euro Budget Support programme signed by EU and Government of Mongolia in May 2020. As part of this programme, a new complementary measures project, “SDG-aligned Budgeting to Transform Employment in Mongolia,” was launched to complement the Government of Mongolia’s efforts to tackle Covid-19 socio-economic challenges. The project is implemented by UNDP Mongolia in partnership with UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Labour Organization for a duration of 3.5 years. The project activities will be closely aligned to support the strategic plans of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.