Mongolia: Dzud - Jan 2018
In 2017, a prolonged period of severe dry weather between mid-May and end of July, intensified by extreme high temperatures in June, damaged large swatches of cropped areas and caused a severe deterioration of pastures and rangeland conditions. An estimated 80 percent of the country was affected by drought conditions. This resulted in severe yield and area losses of the 2017 crops...The 2017 wheat production is estimated at about 231 000 tonnes, almost half of last year’s high level and over 40 percent less than the five-year average...Drought also caused a severe deterioration of pasture conditions, which prevented livestock to gain fat stores and strengthen core muscle strength, critical to overcome the normally harsh winter/spring months. According to MoFALI data, as of November 2017, overall livestock body condition is 14 percent below average... Harsh winters following summer droughts significantly increase risks for herders to lose their animals. (FAO/WFP, 22 Dec 2017).
As of 20 December 2017, the dzud risk map for winter 2017-2018, published by National Agency of Meteorology and the Environmental Monitoring shows that about 40 percent of the country is at the extreme risk of dzud and about 20 percent of the country is at high risk of dzud. In order to reflect the evolving needs of affected population, to address the recommendation from the final evaluation of previous emergency appeal operation and with the additional funding from donors, MRCS and IFRC revised the operational plan and extended the timeframe. In addition to relief activities, the operation is now supporting Dzud preparedness and National society capacity building by taking account of close consultation with the affected population and relevant authorities. (IFRC, 24 Jan 2018).
On 15 February 2018, IFRC released US$ 277,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to assist 2,500 herder families facing very severe winter conditions in seven provinces with cash grants or emergency supplies. The emergency helpwill target the hardest-hit households, those with young children, or five or more children, an older person, or someone with a disability. A national total of 141 out of 330 soums and a city are in “dzud condition”; temperatures approaching minus 50 Celsius were expected to continue through February. (Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Change, 15 Feb 2018)
The Early Warning Early Action initiative has been developed with the understanding that disaster losses and emergency response costs can be drastically reduced by using early warning analysis to act before a crisis escalates into an emergency.
Early actions strengthen the resilience of at-risk populations, mitigate the impact of disasters and help communities, governments and national and international humanitarian agencies to respond more effectively and efficiently
José Graziano da Silva,
“We felt helpless. We didn’t know what would happen in the future. We didn’t know how we would live,” says Gereltsog, a Steppe herder in Mongolia whose 500 livestock risked being wiped out in the winter of 2016-2017 due to deep snow and lack of feed.“Caritas came at the right moment.”
The IFRC today released US$ 277,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to enable the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) to assist 2,500 herder families facing very severe winter conditions in seven provinces with cash grants or emergency supplies.
“The emergency help we’re announcing will target the hardest-hit households, those with young children, or five or more children, an older person, or someone with a disability,” said Gwendolyn Pang, Beijing-based head of the IFRC’s East Asia region.
“It will be enough to cover their essential needs for at least one month.”
Beijing / Kuala Lumpur, 15 February 2018 – Severe winter conditions called Dzud have followed a summer drought, leaving millions of animals at risk of starvation in Mongolia. Without the animals as a source of income, food and transport, herders and their families will remain trapped in severe conditions with a lack of basic health care and social services, or forced to migrate to Ulaanbaatar and live in extreme poverty.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The IFRC said today that with well over half of Mongolia now facing at least a ‘high risk’ of a third consecutive winter dzud, it’s augmenting its operation for the 2016–17 disaster to support preparedness and capacity building with the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS); this follows “close consultation with the affected population and relevant authorities”.
• 17 December 2016: An information bulletin is issued highlighting the upcoming dzud and its potential impacts. The bulletin informs that more likely, it is the northern part of country that will be most affected.
It also indicates that shortage of food is already impacting more than 16,000 families that had to move to new pastures.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Prolonged drought in 2017 acutely affected crop production and livestock conditions
Wheat import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to sharply increase on reduced output
Prices of beef and mutton decreased seasonally in recent months
Crop production in 2017 acutely affected by severe drought
A severe drought in mid-2017 gravely affected large agricultural producing areas and pasture rangelands.
The 2017 production of wheat, the country's main staple food, is forecast at 231 000 tonnes, almost half of last year’s high level and more than 40 percent lower than the average of the previous five years. The impact on other crops, including potatoes, barley, oats and buckwheat, was also severe.
This revised Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 856,387 Swiss francs (increased from 655,512 Swiss Francs) to enable the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) to deliver assistance and support to some 11,264 people for 13 months (increased from 10 months) with a focus on health; livelihoods, nutrition, food security; shelter (including household needs), disaster risk reduction (DRR) and National Society capacity building.
Mongolia is a story of extremes, and how it wears on Batsaikhan depends on the season. In June, grass carpets the steppe to the edge of every horizon. It’s herding weather, clear and mild, and from the back of a horse his way of life looks limitless.
This operation update n° 2 gives an account of the humanitarian situation and the response carried out by the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) during the period between 2 January to 30 June 2017, as per emergency plan of action (EPOA) with the support of IFRC to meet the needs of families affected by severe winter conditions, locally known as Dzud, in Mongolia.