IFRC Mongolia Program Overview 2019

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Mongolia is vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters, including blizzards, heavy snowfalls, floods, dust storms, droughts, wildfires, and earthquakes. These events have an adverse impact on people’s lives and livestock, the key source of food, transport, and income for a number of Mongolian families. Close to half of Mongolia’s three million population leads a nomadic life and depends entirely on livestock for a living. A prolonged dry summer drought followed by harsh winter conditions often leads to the death of a large number of livestock, posing particular risks to the survival of herder families, especially in remote and rural areas. During this slow-onset climatic phenomenon, unique to Mongolia and locally known as 'dzud', temperatures can drop to as low as -50°C across the country. Mongolia experienced two consecutive dzud events in 2016 and 2017, causing more than one million livestock to perish and threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. The increasing frequency of the event has been attributed largely to the impact of climate change and the overgrazing of the Mongolian steppes.

On the development front, Mongolia scores high and ranks 92nd out of 189 countries according to the 2018 Human Development Index. Over a span of 25 years, Mongolia has transformed into a vibrant democracy, with treble the level of GDP per capita and increasing school enrollments, and dramatic declines in maternal mortality and child mortality. In the boom years following 2010, poverty fell as the economy grew. Between 2014 and 2016, however, when the non-mining economy was particularly hit by falling investment and declining private consumption, Mongolia’s poverty rate rose again in 2012. According to The World Bank, to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and to reduce poverty, Mongolia will need to strengthen governance; build institutional capacity to manage public revenues efficiently; and ensure equal opportunities to all its citizens in urban and rural areas, and it needs to do this in a manner which protects the environment and intergenerational equity.

The Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) was established in 1939, as auxiliary to the Mongolian government, it defines its priority strategic goal by building its capacity in disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery, to develop community based public health activities, and provide social and psychosocial support to vulnerable populations. Aligned with MRCS’s vision and strategic plan, IFRC will continue to focus its support on priority areas of disaster risk reduction; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; social care; and an integrated Community-Based Risk Reduction (CBDRR) programme. To supplement on-going initiaves in building safer and more resilient communities IFRC will ensure continued enhancement of MRCS' preparedness for response through capacity building of mid-level branches while ongoing initiatives such forecast based action; a trigger-based financing which provides financing coverage to disaster response needs before a disaster strikes.