that when these temporary border points are open, the consumption of spirits increases as does the incidence of STIs. It was also noted that Kazakhs form a part of the population of Khovd aimag. Since 1990, the movement of Kazakhs to Kazakhstan and Kyrgizstan has increased substantially. Of these, some have re-turned to Mongolia. The Assessment Team met with young people who had studied in Kazakhstan. It was reported that they had injected morphine into each other while studying in Kazakhstan. In 2000, 52,3% of all of the Mongolian citizens who traveled abroad passed through the Buyant Ukhaa border crossing (Ulaanbaatar Airport), for the purpose of undertaking private business in China. The second most frequently used border crossing is that of Zamiin Uud – the border town in the Dornogobi province.
Most reported cross-border cases from Mongolia to China were for the purposes of trading. There is a trading zone near the border by the railway, with the cities of Erlianhaut and Zamiin-Uud on each side. It is reported that before 2000 more than 220,000 trips were made across the border each year from Mongolia to China (Aorenqi, 2000). By 2003, the number could as high as 300,000 a year, including visitors from Mongolia, Russia and other East European countries (Yang and Tumen, 2003).
There is a plan to build a free trading zone around Erlianhaut and Zamiin-Uud as well as a new Trading Mall in Erlianhaut. Therefore, an increase of cross-border activity between China and Mongolia is most likely to happen in the future.
Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS
Again the section below is quoted from the assessment report by NAF (2001b) to identify the groups vulnerable to drug use and HIV infection in current Mongolian society.
The vulnerability of the population to drug use and HIV is exacerbated by a number of factors including:
age (50% of the population are 0-21 years)
high levels of poverty and unemployment
widespread heavy alcohol use
an increase in sex work
an increase in internal and international mobility
a rapid increase of IDU with the accompanying high rate of HIV in neighboring countries Russia, Kazakhstan and China
a limited experience with drug use and associated problems leading to misperceptions, misinformation and inadequate responses to emerging problems
a low level of awareness and understanding on drug use related problem and its consequences among the policy makers and general public