Mongolia is experiencing very low temperatures and heavy snowfall since early November 2015, locally named Dzud. According to the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), snow has covered 90 per cent of the total territory with conditions getting more severe.
Based on the latest assessment report released from the Mongolian Government in early January 2016, 50 soums (districts) in 16 aimags (provinces) are currently categorized as experiencing Dzud while 120 soums in 20 provinces are on the edge of entering Dzud condition. Some local level governments have already declared Dzud in their respective soums as part of the early warning and preparedness measures. (IFRC, 15 Jan 2016)
On 15 January 2016, IFRC 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.(IFRC, 18 Jan 2016)
On 2 March, the IFRC launched an emergency appeal for CHF 834,000 (USD 835,000) to assist 25,500 vulnerable Mongolian herders who are at risk of losing their livestock and livelihoods due to ‘Dzud.’ (IFRC, 2 Mar 2016)
According to recent information from the Mongolian Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, heavy snowfall and snowstorms will continue in March, especially in the north-western aimags. In total 965,000 people – mostly herders – have been affected by dzud and are on the edge of facing devastating cold, snow storm, loss of their livestock and food insecurity. Among the affected populations are 5,019 expectant women, 20,874 children aged under five years, 6,117 people with a disability and 4,173 households living below the national poverty line. (IFRC, 31 Mar 2016)
NEMA has officially declared the 2016 dzud over with the immediate needs of affected herders largely addressed through the response of the Government of Mongolia and the international community. The HCT dzud response has been effectively led by NEMA and resulted in the provision of targeted agriculture support to 78,764 households in 21 provinces (aimags); protection support to 17,162 households in eight aimags; multi-sector support to 16,681 households in five aimags; early recovery support to 12,219 households in 13 aimags; food support to 11,182 households in 15 aimags and nutrition support to 4,390 households in six aimags. (UN ORC, 23 Jun 2016)