It is expected that dzud may mainly affect the northern parts of the country. Currently, 110 soums (townships) in 13 aimags (provinces), which is around 32 per cent of the total number of soums in country, are starting to experience hardship. (IFRC, 17 Dec 2016)
Mongolia’s Deputy Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa called for international help at a special meeting with international aid agencies on 15 December, following the warning issued by the National Emergency Management Agency and National Agency for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring in November. (Save the Children, 20 Dec 2016)
As of 19 December, severe winter conditions were reported in 16 provinces. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, an estimated 37,000 herder households (157,000 people) may be directly affected by the extreme weather conditions, as a result of their nomadic and pastoralist lifestyle. Existing resources and coping mechanisms were reported insufficient and/or severely stretched as a result of the unusual and early snowfall throughout October and November. On 23 December, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia issued a letter to the international community in Mongolia calling for financial and technical assistance. (OCHA, 27 Dec 2016)
Recent severe winter conditions have worsened the situation with average temperature continuously being lower than normal and precipitation forming thicker layer of snow and ice over the grassland. The effect of Dzud is magnified due to the worsening socio-economic situation in the country. Mongolian animal husbandry is totally based on open grazing. In winter season, the open grazing exposes livestock and herders to harsher survival condition. (IFRC, 4 Jan 2017)
Severe winter conditions continue to affect an estimated 157,000 people (37,000 herder households) across 17 out of 21 provinces in Mongolia. A drought during the summer of 2016 has depleted herders’ reserves of hay and fodder in the eastern part of the country putting at risk livestock which are a vital source of food, transport and income for thousands of people. Multipurpose cash grants to support life-saving basic needs, emergency agricultural inputs and veterinary first aid kits have been identified as priority needs. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has established a task force (from January to May) to coordinate the response to the harsh winter conditions. (OCHA, 16 Jan 2017)
UNFPA hands over 2,465 Dignity Kits to NEMA for immediate distribution
By Shu Liu, IFRC
Mongolia’s last winter season began early, arriving in November 2016 following a cold surge. According to the Mongolian Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, by Mid-December 2016, some 50 percent of the country was covered in snow and faced a high risk of dzud (local term for severe winter). The institute also warned that temperatures could drop as low as minus 40 and 50 degrees Celsius in Northern and Eastern Mongolia, where heavy snows could cause the death of thousands of livestock.
This winter will likely see vast swathes of the Mongolian steppe hit by the extreme weather phenomenon known as a “dzud”. Fears are growing of a devastating humanitarian crisis.
Temperatures have dropped to -50C and pasture is covered with 90 cm of snow. Some of the main roads have been closed due to the snowfall. The cold is likely to get worse say meteorologists.
Climate change and the end of Soviet state support have forced 600,000 to migrate to the capital, leaving it struggling to cope
by Patrick Kingsley in Mongolia, with photographs and videos by David Levene
In Altansukh Purev’s yurt, the trappings of a herder’s life lie in plain sight. In the corner are his saddle and bridle. By the door, he has left a milk pail. If you didn’t know better, you might think his horses and cattle were still grazing outside on the remote plains of outer Mongolia.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Dzud is a slow onset disaster which continues for several months as a result of many inter-linked factors.
Geographical prioritization was done by combining the dzud risk index from the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring with underlying poverty data from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. The combination of these factors led to the categorization of the 110 affected soums into 4 risk classes.
On 25 December, Typhoon Nock-Ten (locally known as Nina) made landfall over Catanduanes province as a Category 3 typhoon. As of 27 December, Nock-Ten affected an estimated 112,000 people in four regions (Regions IV-A, IV-B, V and VIII). Before landfall, nearly 430,000 people were pre-emptively evacuated. The Government is leading ongoing relief operations and assessments. To date, no deaths have been confirmed by authorities. The typhoon continues to weaken as it moves further off shore.
112,000 people affected
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (December 20, 2016) — The Mongolian government has requested international support following two months of consistently heavy snowfall and arctic temperatures, which have sparked fears of another devastating humanitarian crisis.
This bulletin is issued to information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Mongolian Red Cross Society – has analyzed, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), that available information points toward significant humanitarian needs. The MRCS anticipates that a DREF Operation will be launched within the next week, with possible scale up to an Emergency Appeal where we will be seeking support.