The second half of 2009 has been a challenging period for the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) in a way it brought big-scale flooding and public health emergency (H1N1 pandemic) and awarding in a way it presented opportunities to utilize its resources.
The torrential downpour and flooding in Mongolia on 17 July 2009 affected more than 3,000 households, with a total of 26 people killed. The International Federation allocated CHF 240,000 from its disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) to support the MRCS in delivering immediate assistance to some 10,000 people.
Mongolia has witnessed a serious epidemic of A (H1N1) influenza since 12 October, and as of 28 November, the latest statistics from the ministry of health indicate a total of 1,155 people infected, with 22 deaths as a result of the epidemic. In comparison, the mainland China with the size of population 500 times larger than Mongolia, reported only nine deaths since its first cases in May 2009.
Since the start of the epidemic, the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) has been actively monitoring the pandemic and exchanging information with relevant government agencies and the national emergency management agency (NEMA).
The MRCS received a total of CHF 108,169 from the International Federation, the Finnish Red Cross and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development in support of their A (H1N1) mitigation and preparedness activities. The project will be implemented between October 2009 and April 2010, and will target children in secondary schools in Ulaanbaatar and the general population across the country with A (H1N1) prevention and mitigation messages through school-based activities, mass media, distribution of posters and other communication methods, as well as blood donor recruitment activities.