ULAN BATOR, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's Ministry of Labor and Social Protection said on Friday that it has started providing food packages to households at risk of malnutrition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In cooperation with the Mongolian Red Cross Society, the food packages consisting of white flour, rice, sugar, sunflower oil and other necessities, will be delivered to at least 1,000 poor households in the country's capital city Ulan Bator, the ministry said in a statement.
The poverty rate in Mongolia stood at 28.4 percent in 2018, and more than 40 percent of the poor lived in Ulan Bator, according to World Bank data.
Mongolia entered a state of public disaster preparedness and imposed a nationwide 24-hour lockdown from 6 a.m., Nov. 12 (2200 GMT, Nov. 11) with effect until Dec. 1, after reporting its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case.
The coronavirus lockdown is expected to be a heavy blow to the poor.
As of Friday morning, the Asian country has confirmed 555 COVID-19 cases, including 128 locally transmitted cases.