Oyu Tolgoi CEO, Mr. Armando Torres, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, today signed a joint agreement to continue supporting youth development in Khanbogd soum, Umnugobi and to provide social data and statistics in Umnugobi province.
Over the past three years, the organisations have established a Youth Development Centre, an Adolescent and Youth-friendly Clinic, a youth peer education network, and piloted interventions to promote youth entrepreneurship, and support young herders and the marginalized young people in Khanbogd soum.
Through parallel national level interventions, supported by this partnership, UNFPA successfully advocated for the approval of the first-ever Law on Supporting Youth Development. Under the law, Youth Development Centre’s human resources and other costs are now covered by the Government of Mongolia.
In the second phase of this joint collaboration in support for youth development in Khanbogd soum, Oyu Tolgoi will make financial contributions to UNFPA in the amount of US$230,000, for which UNFPA agreed to supplement US$231,000 from UNFPA’s own resources.
In addition, as part of the second phase of their partnership, the two institutions announced their plans to partner on a social, economic and environmental study in Umnugobi province to understand impact of major mining operations at the community level in the amount of US$300.000. Three sub-studies will be held, one of which is the Social indicator sample survey (SISS) as part of the national survey.
As the government begins to develop national frameworks to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, strategic planning and investments will be required to collect robust, more frequent, and timely data. The SISS presents a unique opportunity to support this process, particularly at the aimag (provincial) level in Umnugobi.
This renewed partnership between Oyu Tolgoi and UNFPA Mongolia brings together two organisations working in the private and development sectors. This innovative collaboration was the first of its kind for the UN agency.
During the signing ceremony, UNFPA Representative, Naomi Kitahara, said, “I am very pleased to share with you that both OT and UNFPA have been fully satisfied with, and proud of, the results we have jointly achieved in the last three years for the development of young people in Khanbogd soum.”
“Today’s signing of the contributions agreement has a second project, which is to conduct the social, economic and environment study in Umnogobi province. UNFPA is very committed to generate reliable and quality data for Umnogobi province, which plays a critical role for the effective, evidence-based and results-oriented planning and budgeting process to serve the local population, particularly vulnerable groups.”
Armando Torres, Oyu Tolgoi CEO, said, “After three years of operation, the Youth Development Centre has become a hub for youth development in developing the life skills of young people in the region, and a platform to promote youth business initiatives. The second phase, launched today, will focus on a comprehensive reproductive and life-skills education, while also promoting youth entrepreneurship.
“Empowered youth are the engine of the progress we all seek. With continued investment, we have no doubt that the young people in Khanbogd soum will flourish. OT is proud to continue this meaningful collaboration with UNFPA and the Khanbogd Soum government.”
To date, UNFPA and the Government of Mongolia, with support from Oyu Tolgoi, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Government of Luxembourg, have established 16 YDCs throughout Mongolia. These YDCs are working to build a responsible, positive and self-reliant youth population.
Highlighting the strength of the partnership, Ms. Kitahara added, “Oyu Tolgoi’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility is a model for others to follow. We’re extremely grateful for Oyu Tolgoi’s continued commitment to supporting the development of communities in Mongolia.”
Building on this relationship, OT supported the Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund, which has recently approved to support the “Integrated Support Programme for Women and Young People’s Health in Umnugobi,” which is a joint UN Programme for UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Mongolia and the Government of Australia. The Integrated Programme, which is valued at US$ 5,000,800, is to receive financial contributions in the amount of US$1.7 million from the OT-financed Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund. It is planned to be launched at the end of April 2018.
About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (www.ot.mn)
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company, is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Located in the South Gobi, Oyu Tolgoi commenced shipment of product to customers in July 2013. Oyu Tolgoi is managed by Rio Tinto, which is investing global expertise and cutting-edge technology to help develop Mongolia’s mining industry and ensure Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world’s most advanced mines. For Oyu Tolgoi, nothing matters more than safety. The business operates under the principle that if a job cannot be done safely, it will not be done at all.