ACAPS Briefing Note – Mongolia: Extreme winter conditions, 16 February 2017
Seventeen out of 21 aimags (provinces) across Mongolia have been affected by a dzud, a phenomenon characterised by harsh winter conditions that result in extremely high numbers of livestock deaths. Around 157,000 herders are at risk of losing livestock and livelihoods, with the lean season expected to last until May. A previously rare phenomenon occurring once a decade, this is the second consecutive year with dzud conditions in Mongolia, limiting herders’ abilities to cope. Bulgan, Khuvsgul, and Zavkhan are among the aimags affected by the dzud. Seven out of 36 priority soums (districts) in Mongolia identified on 22 December 2016 were in Khuvsgul, with another priority soum in Bulgan. The situation across Mongolia is expected to worsen, as the heaviest snowfalls are expected to coincide with the beginning of the spring birthing season.