Germany: Humanitarian assistance for the victims of the cold in Mongolia

For the second successive winter Mongolia is suffering the effects of the "dzud", a combination of climatic extremes with very dry summers, as in 1999 and 2000, which led to overgrazing of the pastureland that had been reduced by drought, and extremely cold winters with heavy snowfalls which led to loss of livestock. The effects of these climate extremes are exacerbated by structural deficits in the Mongolian economy and by logistical problems.

On 30 January OCHA fronted a joint appeal for aid by the UN and the Mongolian Government. A total of US$ 11.7 million was said to be needed for the period February to May 2001.

On 21 February, responding to a call by the International Federation of Red Cross Societies the Federal Foreign Office gave the German Red Cross DM 235,000 to buy 10,000 first aid kits. On 25 January our Embassy in Ulan Bator received an amount of DM 80,000 for the purchase of food, shoes and warm clothing, especially for toddlers and schoolchildren.

Last year the Federal Foreign Office made available a total of DM 94,000 for Mongolia (DM 25,000 for an Embassy project to buy food and clothing and DM 69,000 for a German Red Cross project to buy winter boots).

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development provided DM 2 million, DM 1 million from Technical Cooperation funds and DM 1 million in food aid, half of which is to be implemented by the GTZ (36 mt energy protein biscuits and 15 mt milk powder) and half by the German Red Cross (850 t wheat flour). The previous year, the Ministry had already made available DM 1 million from Technical Cooperation funds to help victims of the dzud.