Since late 2009, temperatures as low as
45 degrees below zero Celsius, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions have
affected provinces in central and western Mongolia, limiting access to
food, fuel, and medical supplies for herders and other vulnerable populations.
As of February 17, the Government of Mongolia (GoM) reported that more
than 13,000 people, or 3,300 households, live in communities rendered inaccessible
by roads blocked by accumulated snow and ice. In addition, approximately
212,000 herders have limited access to food and fuel. GoM governors and
country officials have declared local snow disasters, or dzuds, in more
than 65 counties and districts in 11 provinces. The U.S. Ambassador to
Mongolia, Jonathan S. Addleton, along with the USAID Representative, Chuck
Howell, conducted a four-day field assessment to affected provinces to
evaluate the humanitarian needs resulting from the extreme winter conditions.
On February 22, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan
S. Addleton declared a disaster due to the effects of the winter emergency
and dzud conditions. In response, USAID/OFDA is providing $50,000 to the
U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the purchase of emergency relief supplies
to help meet the needs of affected populations.