ULAN BATOR, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a technical assistance grant of 440,000 U.S. dollars to help address and prevent domestic violence in Mongolia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank's office in Mongolia said Tuesday.
"Aside from its severe economic impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on domestic violence in Mongolia," said Veronica Mendizabal Joffre, the ADB's social development specialist, adding that with the technical assistance, the bank aims to "maintain critical response mechanisms for domestic violence and enhance preventive action."
Police records for the capital city of Ulan Bator showed a 63-percent increase in reported domestic violence cases, with 3,100 during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 1,900 in the same period last year, the bank said.
Mongolia has 14 shelters and 15 one-stop service centers that provide attention, counseling services and short-term safe accommodations to victims of domestic violence.
According to the ADB, the assistance will boost the safety of first responders during the pandemic, and support the expansion of information technology and digital infrastructure of the National Legal Institute and the National Center Against Violence (NCAV) to complement existing hotlines and counseling services.
In light of the increased demand for psychosocial counseling during the COVID-19 crisis, an additional counselor under the NCAV will also be provided for the duration of the technical assistance, the bank said.
Virtual training programs will also be conducted for first responders in emergency response in cases of sexual violence, for shelter operators on stress management and mental health, and police psychologists, it added.
As of Tuesday, Mongolia has confirmed 225 COVID-19 imported cases.
The country has reported no local transmissions or deaths so far.