Mongolia

Mongolia: Annual Appeal No. MAAMN001 Programme Update No. 02

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This report covers the period 1 July to 31 December 2008.

In brief

Programme(s) summary:

In May, the case of hand, foot and mouth disease (Enterovirus71 infectious disease) was reported in the country. The International Federation released CHF 69,000 from the disaster response emergency fund (DREF) to support the national society respond to the epidemic. The MRCS health and disaster management team responded rapidly with the launch of a three-month public education campaign in the eight provinces and eight districts of Ulaanbaatar most affected by HFMD.

Under health and care, longer term programming in HIV prevention, non-remunerated blood donor recruitment, and social care continue to be implemented in this reporting period. In July, the MRCS Youth programme hosted a national youth camp that brought together 350 people from all provinces across Mongolia, with one day dedicated to HIV prevention training through a series of workshops on prevention, support networks, sexual health and others. In addition, the HIV/AIDS response programme carried out education camps for youth within the Ulaanbaatar area - these camps offer HIV education to approximately 2,000 young people. In this camp, peer educators engaged with other young people and discussed risky behaviour, condom promotion, and other safe sex prevention methods.

In this reporting period, the social care programme, supported by the International Federation, successfully implemented a community-based project to provide care for elders. The social care programme has a total of 200 volunteers and 250 members that provide home care services to approximately 2,000 people including the elderly, disabled and the most vulnerable. Another project aimed at delivering social care services for the most vulnerable, funded by British Red Cross, continues to be implemented in Bayangol, Bayanzurkh and Baganuur districts, with up to 250 volunteers and 75 members reaching more than 700 beneficiaries. A major development of the social care programme is the four-year European Union-funded implementation framework with the Finnish Red Cross to scale up the social care programme as well as include poverty reduction activities such as vocational training. The implementation will commence at the beginning of 2009.

In the second half of the year, hay-making provided temporary job opportunities for the unemployed who lost their income source due to natural disasters in the past six years. During the implementation, first aid training and safety instructions were incorporated as well. Herders' consultations were organized with government agencies and non-governmental organizations including the national emergency management agency, ministry of agriculture, University of Agriculture and related local authorities on preventing potential disaster, share herders' experience, collaborating local Red Cross branches and winter preparation. As part of the dissemination of information, a semi-annual report was published, radio programmes were broadcasted and a first aid team competition as well as a disaster preparedness logistics training were conducted.

Organizational development remains a high priority of the national society, in governance and management issues, as well as finance development. As part of a "best practices" documentary, the Mongolian Red Cross was selected among the other Asia Pacific countries to be on a DVD which will be produced and shared with partners. For this purpose, a film team was contracted to film selected locations in Mongolia.

Financial situation: The total 2008 budget is CHF 1,241,221 (USD 1.11 million or EUR 829,810), of which 54 per cent is covered. Expenditure from January to November 2008 against income was 84 per cent over total income.

No. of people we help:

Direct beneficiaries of MRCS programmes in the country are estimated to be approximately 500,000 people. Contributing to this fact has been well publicized drives in the media linked with disaster preparedness, hand, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and HIV campaigns, as well as ongoing projects in disaster management, health and care and organizational development.

Our partners: The Mongolian Red Cross Society works with over 40 partners including the Australian Red Cross, British Red Cross, the Red Cross Society of China, Finnish Red Cross/ Finnish government, German Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Republic of Korea Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross/ Norwegian government, Department for International Development (DFID), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Health, National Blood Centre, Blood Donor Agency, Ulaanbaatar City Governor, Youth for Health NGO, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), National Centre for Communicable Disease (NCCD), and National Journalists Association/Journalists Union, Deseret International Charities (the Mormon Church Utah),

Mongolian National Radio and Television Broadcasting Agency, Mongolian Educational Channel, local prison authorities, National Youth Association, National Students Union, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, University of Agriculture, National Centre for Diseases with Natural Foci, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour, Traffic Authority, Border/Customs Control, local health departments, traffic police, the National AIDS Foundation (NAF), the National AIDS Committee (NAC), the National Voluntary Counselling and Testing VCT Working Group, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The International Federation, on behalf Mongolia Red Cross Society, would like to thank the abovementioned partners for their generous support.

Context

From an economic point of view, the price inflation of necessities is affecting the population especially the most vulnerable. According to the National Statistics Office, inflation reached a high of 34 percent in August, but prices of food products, goods, transport and education fees have fallen in the later months of the year. Though tariffs for electricity and heating were increased, for vulnerable groups in society, major bread and flour makers and the trolleybus companies the tariffs remained the same as previous.

The most significant socio-political events were 2008 parliament election and political uncertainty caused by the election results. Political unrest on 1 July resulted in more than 300 people being hospitalized, over 700 arrested and 5 confirmed deaths. Due to the growing interest of the public in the political issues the planned activities were often postponed and on-going activities scaled down.

Within the country's commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mongolia aims to reduce the number of its citizens who lack access to safe water and basic sanitation by fifty percent by 2015. In recognition of this, the government of Mongolia instituted 2008 as "The Year of Food and Water Safety and Supply Policy Reform". A total of 19 water kiosks have been constructed in the Ger district of Ulaanbaatar, within the water and sanitation project funded by the government of Netherlands through the Netherlands Red Cross together with the Mongolian Red Cross Society. Activities including the promotion of hygiene practices and increasing public awareness on environmental and sanitation issues were also carried out.

Since the first case registered on 1 May, the country experienced a serious outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) due to Entrovirus 71 (EV71).

As of 10 September, 3,151 people have been diagnosed with the virus. The MRCS actively monitored the epidemic and exchanged information with relevant government agencies, the national emergency management Agency (NEMA), the ministry of health and national centre for communicable disease (NCCD). In response to the outbreak, the International Federation released CHF 69,000 from the disaster response emergency fund (DREF) to support the national society respond to the epidemic. The MRCS health and disaster management team launched a three-month public education campaign in the eight provinces and eight districts of Ulaanbaatar most affected by HFMD. For more information on the DREF operation, click here for the Final Report.

According to the health indicators issued by the National Centre for Health Prevention, fatalities as a result of accidents are ranked third in the past five years. The statistics of Ministry of Health has shown that the number of patients referred to the hospital after accidents have increased by five to eight percent. The above fact is usually explained in relation with the poor quality of the hospital in the prompt provision of services to the injured ones, insufficient measures taken towards the prevention from accidents, limited cooperation with the organizations working in the similar field and low participation of general public.