Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alcoholism in Mongolia

Kirril Shields wrote an interesting article in the UB Post titled "Internal or External? Alcoholism in Mongolia", on the problem of alcoholism in Mongolia. Admittedly, alcoholism is one of the bigger cultural / social obstacles to progress and development in Mongolia. And it definitely is the number one hindrance to productivity and efficiency. Excerpts:
By all accounts, according to reports, statistics, observers, officials and even tourism blogs, alcoholism, far from it being simply a difficult thing to remove, grows by the year, making the problem something of a national disaster. When the basic governance of a country or foreign investment in a nation is hindered by alcohol use, then alarm bells should ring.

"As many Mongolians," states a paper written for America’s National Intelligence Council in 2007 by Ashley Derrick, "forced to abandon their nomadic lifestyle in exchange for a cramped, urban existence, are succumbing to an epidemic of alcoholism, it is likely Mongolia will experience an increase in liver disease and other health complications resulting from alcohol abuse in the next 10-15 years." The point of his statement was to warn the American government that alcohol is one factor "significantly threatening [the] United States’ strategic interests in Mongolia’s national and regional security, democratization, and economic sustainability."

Read the full article here.