Food, animal fodder help Mongolians survive severe winter

Unloading relief supplies from FHI. Each family received 25 kilos of animal fodder and 10 kilos of flour.
FHI's Mongolian operation has already provided flour and animal fodder to 170 families in Bulgan province, and hope to provide more aid in the coming weeks with a grant from the FHI International Relief Office.

Officials estimate that 665,000 people (131,000 families) are severely affected by the snow and winter cold, with temperatures reaching -40 C at night.

Of deep concern is the effect of the winter weather on livestock, which many Mongolians depend upon for their primary source of food, fuel and income. Estimates are that 24,000 animals have already died, and the death toll could be as high as 2.5 million by winter's end.

The heavy snows follow on the heels of yet another summer of drought, which resulted in low yields of animal fodder used to nourish animals through the long winter. The drought also left animals in poor condition even before the harsh winter began.

According to FHI staff filing a report after their January 3 distribution, "Elderly people were shedding tears saying they had never experienced a situation this difficult."

FHI staff also said that some families receiving distributions reported they had lost half of their livestock already.

FHI will update this web site with information about new relief efforts when the information becomes available.