The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been monitoring forecasts for the current El Niño since early 2015. It is using early warning information to design and implement early actions knowing that anticipatory action can mitigate or even prevent disasters from happening.
What is El Niño?
El Niño is the warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific. While the main threats to food production are reduced rainfall and drought in some regions, El Niño can also cause heavy rains and flooding in others.
Globally, millions of vulnerable households are at risk of increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climatic pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. No two El Niño events are ever the same and it is thought that this particular occurrence could be the most powerful on record. The strongest El Niño in 1997/1998 killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.
60 million PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED BY EL NIÑO IN THE FOUR MOST AFFECTED REGIONS
2.8 million PEOPLE REQUIRE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS
10.2 million PEOPLE IN NEED OF EMERGENCY FOOD IN ETHIOPIA
14 million FOOD INSECURE PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA – EXCLUDING SOUTH AFRICA
El Niño status
Background and purpose
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has as its **Strategic Objective 5** to “Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises”. In support of its national counterparts, FAO aims to address the current and future needs of vulnerable people affected by the 2015‒2016 El Niño event.
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January 4, 2016
State Emergency Commission
Regarding the direction given by the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Emergency Assessment Teams to examine the winter conditions, conduct disaster risk assessments in 21 aimags and solve some urgent issues on the site, established under the Order of the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia and Chairperson of the State Emergency Commission, had a mission from 16 December to 28 December 2015 in 21 aimags.
Beijing/Geneva, 18 January 2016. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released 158,000 Swiss francs (157,686 US dollars) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist 1,500 herder families (7,500 people) in Mongolia who are at risk of losing all their livestock to extreme sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Mongolia is experiencing very low temperatures and heavy snowfall since early November 2015, locally named Dzud1 . According to the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), snow has covered 90 per cent of the total territory with conditions getting more severe, with the thickness of snow cover between 10 - 40 cm (density 0.12 – 0.24 g/c.cm).
General inflation in the region was estimated at 2.3 percent, and food price inflation at 2.6 percent in November compared to one year ago.
In China, prices for fresh vegetables rose as unusually cold weather in November hampered transport and disrupted supplies to markets.
In Indonesia, drought conditions linked to El Niño over large parts of the country resulted in major delays in planting of the main season crops.
Current conditions and forecast
Oceanic and atmospheric indicators suggest the 2015/2016 El Niño has peaked with a return to neutral conditions expected during the second quarter of 2016. However, countries continue to feel the effects of El Niño which include below average precipitation during the rainy season, more intense cyclones in the North-Western Pacific and potentially more frequent cyclones in the South Pacific over the coming weeks, as well as drought in South and South-East Asia.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula will start to weaken as it moves south from Vanuatu after spending the past 13 days impacting countries across the Pacific. The cyclone passed close to the southern islands of Vanuatu as a Category 4 system on 10 Jan bringing heavy rain, some localised flooding, crop damage and heavy seas. Assessments are underway but there are no reports of major damage and there have been no requests for international assistance.
According to the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), snow has covered 90 per cent of the total territory with conditions getting more severe, with the thickness of snow cover between 10 - 40 cm (density 0.12 – 0.24 g/c.cm). The Mongolian National State Emergency Committee convened its second meeting on the current winter situation in country on 4 January 2016, to discuss the information gathered through government assessments which were carried out in 21 provinces in late December 2015.
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Background and purpose
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has as its Strategic Objective 5 to “Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises”. In support of its national counterparts, FAO aims to address the current and future needs of vulnerable people affected by the 2015‒2016 El Niño event.
According to the Mongolian National State Emergency Committee, 40 per cent of the country is now facing extreme winter conditions. The committee has warned that over the next weeks there is strong likelihood of disaster similar to what was witnessed in the winter 2009–2010, when the dzud, as this type of disaster is called in the Mongolian language, severely affected the livelihood of tens of thousands of poor herder families.
FAO’s latest forecasts for global supply and demand of cereals continue to point to a generally comfortable 2015/16 marketing season, with world inventories by the close of seasons in 2016 expected to fall only slightly below their record opening levels.