Mongolia Appeal No. 01.68/2003 Programme Update No. 1


Appeal Target: 770,524 CHF (USD 527,864 or EUR 523,425)
Period covered: January to June, 2003

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organisation and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information:

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 80%; Refer to our website for Contributions List for details.

Outstanding needs: CHF 151,905

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: N/A

Programme Summary: A cycle of droughts and severe winters affecting nomadic herders and people in rural centres, who make up 40 per cent of the population, has raised the impetus for long term sustainable development solutions in Mongolia. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in collaboration with the Mongolian Red Cross Society and other partners are implementing programmes to build the capacity of vulnerable communities to prepare for and survive disaster in their fragile ecosystem. In addition support for the organisational capacity of the national society to implement social care and health programmes are also covered by this appeal.


Following four consecutive years, Mongolia has experienced a further harsh winter and sporadic 1dzud. This has affected most of the provinces of the country, but has severely affected just seven. In January 2003, the Federation launched an Emergency Appeal following an assessment of the situation in November 2002 by an international review team. The overall aim of the Emergency Appeal was to 'contribute to the dzud survival and recovery of the most affected populations in seventeen 2aimags through the provision of wheat flour, children's warm clothes, and top boots for active herders.' In addition to contributing to immediate relief needs, the operation focused on building the capacity of the Mongolia Red Cross Society (MRCS) to reduce longer term vulnerability through 'revitalizing branches' of the Mongolian Red Cross at 3soum level (primary organisations) in seventeen soums and three aimag actively involved in the emergency intervention.

The government of Mongolia is forever mindful of the need to use knowledge gained from the experiences of a succession of severe winters and the duzd phenomena. As the result, they are implementing short and long-term strategies to mitigate the effect this has had on the economy, the suffering of livestock and the rural population. United Nations and other elements of the donor community are addressing these needs with development programs. The MRCS and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have sought to address these needs through a variety of interventions designed to minimise the hardships sustained by categories of both rural and urban poor.

Short-term measures have included joint Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and disaster management and mitigation interventions in the soums that are worst effected. This has included the support of dedicated human resources to support herder communities who are in dire straits, and the supply of fuel for all terrain transport of commodities to affected areas. Prevention measures have included the intensification of winter 4ger settlements, thus enabling emergency winter support with fodder when needs arise. It has also allowed government and other agencies to support herders with financial loans for preparing winter fodder that can be repaid on a long-term basis.

They also include the improvement of the water supply to selected pastures to ensure the growth of quality grass for the production of hay and the identification of locations for wintering large numbers of families and their livestock predetermined by national and local government. Long-term measures include changes in legislation to incorporate the need for disaster management and mitigation, while reforming the law on civil protection and civil defence.

The Federation's Role in Mongolia

The Federation's position in Mongolia has been to maintain a policy of gradual organisational development. Consequence, they have appointed a Head of Delegation as a permanent representative of the Federation. This is an important step as new partners and donors are starting to work with the national society. In June, the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) agreed to implement a capacity building project in the Sukhbaatar district branch within Ulaanbaatar, and at the Gobi-Altai aimag branch of the MRCS. A tripartite agreement, incorporating the role of Federation as coordinator, will be signed shortly between NLRC, the Federation and the MRCS. Other national societies are also keen to look at bilateral interventions. This will assist the MRCS still further in their efforts to improve their standing as the primary player in Mongolia in disaster preparedness and response.

Following a three year review of the International Federation Cooperation Programme to the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS), the Federation has facilitated a 'Management Comments Process' allowing for key MRCS partners to provide comments on each of the recommendations presented in the 'Final Review Report' ensuring understanding and the building of a consensus on prioritie s and the viability of the various recommendations.

Once again, the team leader of the review team has been invited back to Mongolia to facilitate the next step in the programme management cycle. The MRCS senior management has accepted the proposals set out in this document, and they consider it equitable to implement these recommendations. This will require the revision of strategies and programs. There will also be a need for the revision of partnerships in order to set a clear and sustainable direction for the MRCS in years to come. The MRCS has already begun this process.

Support and assistance will continue to be provided by Regional Delegations in Beijing and in Kuala Lumpur, and expertise from the Secretariat in Geneva will be requested when appropriate.

The Mongolian Red Cross Society

The Mongolian Red Cross Society together with the Federation, are continuing to develop core programs of their society. Moreover, there has been particular emphasis made to integrate in a cohesive manner, the health and care programme, the humanitarian values programme, the Red Cross youth programme and the disaster preparedness and response programmes. Further more the MRCS recognise the importance of developing collaborative interventions with sister societies within the movement, together with other INGOs and NGOs operating within Mongolia.

The national society are building on a management capacity to enhance self reliance, with expected results of improved management structures and systems throughout the society, better training and more skilled staff, better developed branches, improved financial management and expanded income generation.

The Federation is in turn supporting the MRCS in the development of programs more responsive and focused on the needs of the most vulnerable, with the expected results of increased capacity, programs that are designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, improvement in the quality of monitoring and evaluation, and further development of the organisational development, health and care and disaster management programs.


1. A Mongolian phenomena peculiar to the steppe which involves summer drought, followed by a particularly harsh winter, and where owing to the drought it has been particularly difficult to prepare conserved fodder for livestock from the preceding summer months.

2. An aimag is the largest of the administrative regions of Mongolia, and comprises a number of Soums

3. A soum is the second largest administrative district of Mongolia, and comprises a number of Bags. Bags are the smallest administrative district that may be represented by its own Governor , and is usually rural in nature

4. A ger is a traditional circular wood framed, felt lined dwelling preferred by the Mongolian herders of the steppe.

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