Mongolia: Dzud Office of the Resident Coordinator Situation Report No. 3 (As of 17 June 2016)

from UN Resident Coordinator for Mongolia
Published on 23 Jun 2016


  • Since January, 1.1 million of the total 56 million national livestock have perished, affecting 41 per cent of the population who rely on livestock for their main source of food and cash.

  • National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed 6,426 new cases of sheep pox in 37 soums and six aimags this year. Quarantine measures are in place in 16 soums and five aimags. As of 6 June, 314,886 animals have been vaccinated, 78% of the 430,000 livestock targeted for vaccination.

  • The survival rate of new born livestock is currently at 97.7 per cent nationally. However, many herder households are struggling to recover from the dzud as a result of high livestock losses, livelihood strain and eroded coping mechanisms.

  • Initial United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund monitoring findings show the comprehensive assistance package (which covered food, nutrition, livelihood and livestock/agricultural needs) was efficiently delivered to 4,390 households and was appropriate to the needs of vulnerable herders.

  • Monitoring findings also show the cash grants were used to buy clothes, medicine, fuels (coal and firewood), cell phone credits, infant formula and pay off outstanding debts to local grocery stores.

  • Proposed revisions to the national Disaster Prevention Act will be introduced to parliament after the June election. Lessons from the response will be applied to supporting guidelines to strengthen future implementation.

225,800 Affected people 

11,800 Vulnerable herder households 

1.1 million Livestock perished  US$6.36 million Funding received to meet immediate and longer term needs

Situation Overview

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has officially declared the 2016 dzud over with the immediate needs of affected herders largely addressed through the response of the Government of Mongolia and the international community. The HCT dzud response has been effectively led by NEMA and resulted in the provision of targeted agriculture support to 78,764 households in 21 provinces (aimags); protection support to 17,162 households in eight aimags; multi-sector support to 16,681 households in five aimags; early recovery support to 12,219 households in 13 aimags; food support to 11,182 households in 15 aimags and nutrition support to 4,390 households in six aimags.

As of 30 May, pasture re-growth across Mongolia yielded mixed results with strongest recovery recorded in the north-east of the country. The Ministry of Agriculture confirm that pasture re-growth is poor in parts of Dornogobi, Govisumber and Bayan-Ulgii and monitoring will continue to determine overall rates of regeneration. Although more rain is expected in 2016 than in previous years, NEMA reports that forecasts indicate that there will be less precipitation in the western and Gobi regions compared to past annual averages for these regions.

Mongolia is entering the summer season and with improved weather conditions, focus is now transitioning to medium and longer-term priorities. Although the immediate needs have been met, vulnerable herder households require ongoing support to improve livestock management; increase the strength, health and quality of herds; and promote self-sufficiency. There are also medium-longer term needs in pasture management and alternative livelihoods, efforts to strengthen index-based livestock insurance for herders, as well as investment in more reliable longer-term weather forecasting.
The Humanitarian Country Team’s (HCT) monitoring considered emerging issues, such as household debt and vulnerability, and determined that cash grant provision was well targeted and timely. Many herder families had incurred debt for the hay they procured on loan from local authorities between January and March, and for the goods purchased on loan from local grocery shops. The cash transfers received through the UN, Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) and other partners, meant that families were able to avoid increasing debts or could repay existing debts. Further assessments however will be needed to identify the key issues impeding the recovery and savings patterns of vulnerable herder livelihoods.

In the worst-affected aimags, a lack of food availability in local markets was reported during winter and spring, which led to reduced household food consumption and increased the risk of under-nutrition particularly for children and other vulnerable groups. These conditions were exacerbated by increased food prices during winter, as well as inadequate intake of essential micronutrients due to a lack of dietary diversity. Summer food prices have since experienced a slight reduction according to data from UNICEF/World Vision which shows that average monthly household expenditure on items such as flour, pasta, rice, salt, sugar, oil and tea cost the equivalent to US$90 in February compared with US$83 in June. Diversity is also enabled by greater availability of vegetables and dairy products at the current time.

NEMA have highlighted that planning for the next winter should begin as soon as possible and a national commission has been appointed to organize future winter preparedness activities. The HCT stands ready to support the Government of Mongolia to prepare for another potentially harsh winter by strengthening preparedness capacity, supporting with interagency-contingency planning and increasing emergency readiness in Mongolia.