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)
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 based on open grazing. In the winter season, the open grazing exposes livestock and herders to harsher survival condition. (IFRC, 4 Jan 2017)
As of 16 January 2017, severe winter conditions affected 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)
United Nations has allocated $1.1 million through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to launch a rapid humanitarian response and provide life-saving assistance, which aims to address the most urgent needs of 3,500 poorest and most vulnerable herder households across 36 soums in 13 aimags. (UN Resident Coordinator for Mongolia, 24 Jan 2017)
On 10 February, IFRC launched an emergency appeal for CHF 655, 512 francs to assist 11,264 people for 10 months. (IFRC, 10 Feb 2017)
An assessment by Save the Children found that the most vulnerable households, particularly herder households, are already struggling to cope with the impact of a second severe winter in a row; most herders have a loan from the bank and buy food on credit from local markets. Children – especially those from herders’ families – are expected to be particularly affected by this crisis; the usually long journey to school at the beginning of term is now more dangerous, their schools and dormitories are incredibly cold, and respiratory infections are common, but access to healthcare is very poor. (Save the Children, 22 Jan 2017)
Extreme winter weather, termed ‘dzud’, has hit Mongolian herders once again. The phenomenon which appears approximately once in decade has unusually appeared for the second consecutive winter in a row. Seventeen out of twenty-one provinceshave officially declared being affected with dzud. The most vulnerable people are now the herders who did not have enough time to recover from the damages from last year.
By Mirva Helenius, IFRC
Severe winter conditions in Mongolia, known as Dzud, are threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders in eastern and northern parts of the country. Dzud is caused by the twin impacts of drought in the summer, resulting in insufficient grass in pastures and low production of hay, and harsh conditions in the winter, including heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures.
Ulaanbaatar, February 10th, 2017 – In response to the particularly harsh winter which has struck large parts of Mongolia since November, the European Commission is providing over 115 000 EUR in humanitarian funding to bring immediate relief to the most affected families. The aid will directly benefit 5000 most vulnerable individuals in some of the country’s worst-hit provinces, namely Khuvsgul, Selenge, Uvs and Zavkhan.
I. Executive summary
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
This Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 655,512 Swiss francs to enable the IFRC to support the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) to deliver assistance and support to some 11,264 people for 10 months, with a focus on detailed assessments, immediate household needs, heath, livelihoods, community preparedness and disaster risk reduction. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at this time of the evolving operation, and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments.
Key facts, figures and examples of how we support actions to better mitigate the risks of disasters and support humanitarian response work that is underpinned by UNFPA’s unique mandate encompassing sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, population data and youth empowerment.
As of 31 January, United Nations Coordinated Appeals and Refugee Response Plans within the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) require US$22.5 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of 93.5 million crisis-affected people in 33 countries. Needs and financial requirements have increased due the finalisation of five additional Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs). Seventeen HRPs have been published so far. Together the appeals are funded at $77.2 million, leaving a shortfall of $22.4 billion.
Mongolia is facing the second dzud episode in a row after severe winter conditions in 2015/2016 that triggered an international humanitarian response. As a direct consequence in 2017, it is expected that thousands of households and their livelihoods will be in need of humanitarian assistance to alleviate the impact of the dzud on their lives (CERF 2016).
Ulaanbaatar, January 24, 2017; Harsh winter conditions are severely impacting herders and their livestock in the Northern part of Mongolia. In response to the deteriorating situation, the United Nations has allocated $1.1 million through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to launch a rapid humanitarian response and provide life-saving assistance.
Across the country, 157,000 people (37,000 herder households) in 17 out of 21 provinces in Mongolia are affected with 8,000 households in urgent need of support.
Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions
CAUSE OF DISPLACEMENT
More than 2.5 million new displacements between 24 December and 11 January
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.