Mongolia

Mongolia: Snowfalls Appeal No. 5/2000 Final Report

Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
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 organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

Appeal No. 05 / 2000; Launched on: 22nd February 2000 for 3 months for CHF 815,200 to assist 30,000 beneficiaries. Revised budget on 29th March 2000 to CHF 4,062,000, extending the operation by 9 months to assist 35,000 beneficiaries.

Period covered: March 2000-December 2002.

A major pledge payment was made in December 2002 following the completion of a specific donor audit.

Summary

The Disaster

Severe snowfalls and extremely low temperatures of winter 1999-2000 affected large areas of Mongolia and was preceded by the worst drought in 30 years. The snowfall started abnormally early in October and gradually built up: in some places the snow was 80-100 cm deep, with an underlying ice crust, creating conditions known locally as "Dzud". Freezing temperatures created an ice cap over the ground, further restricting the cattles' access to the underlying pasture. The severe drought during summer prevented the harvest of hay and fodder and animals were not able to put on enough fat to survive the winter conditions.

This extensive and prolonged drought followed by early and heavy snowfalls created what is locally called a multiple Dzud and caused the death of over two million head of livestock, the mainstay of the rural economy and the main source of food for herders and their families. Over 395,000 people in 13 provinces (16% of the total population of Mongolia) were affected by the food shortages in the immediate term, and by the loss of their livelihood in the longer term. As a result, the morale of the herders was extremely low and many were exhausted, physically and emotionally, from the long searches of pasture for their animals and the resulting losses.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Action

Assessment of Needs

A number of assessment teams from the MRCS headquarters travelled to the most badly affected provinces to gather information and assess the developing situation of the disaster. Using this information, and disaster reports produced by the Red Cross provincial branches, the MRCS compiled a complete assessment report of the situation. The Federation's Acting Representative in the Regional Office in Beijing undertook a mission to the country in order to hold meetings with the MRCS.

As of 15 March 2000, the MRCS provided detailed statistics on the worst affected counties within the 6 provinces of Dundgobi, Bayankhongor, Zavkhan, Uvurkhangai, Tuv and Uvs as follows. The 6 worst hit provinces above were selected to receive the Red Cross relief assistance.

Province
Number of affected counties
Number of dead livestock
Number of affected Households
Number of affected people
Dundgobi
15
467'112
8'074
44'400
Bayankhongor
6
97'410
3'841
21'125
Zavkhan
19
252'642
14'700
80'850
Uvurkhangai
10
440'837
9'319
51'254
Uvs
11
182'559
15'842
87'130
Tuv
4
64'612
8'837
48'604
Total
65
1'505'172
60'613
333'363

Based on the findings of this mission, as well as a mission undertaken by the Federation's Regional Information Delegate to some of the worst hit provinces in mid-February, a plan for relief assistance was drawn up as follows:

Province
Number of counties
Number of Households
Dundgobi
7
700
Bayankhongor
3
300
Zavkhan
4
400
Uvurkhangai
5
500
Uvs
3
300
Tuv
4
400
Total
26
2'600

The Snowfall Appeal 2000

In response to the disaster situation, the Federation/Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) launched an initial Appeal on 22 February 2000 to provide support to 30,000 beneficiaries over a 3 month period. Further assessments indicated that the situation was likely to deteriorate further with far reaching consequences for the affected population. The Federation therefore, launched a revised Appeal on 29 March 2000, seeking CHF 4,062,050 to support 35,000 beneficiaries over a 12 month period with wheat flour, rice or millet as well as distributing 8,000 pairs of working and winter boots.

Coordination

The Federation and the MRCS regularly attended the United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) information sharing meetings in the early phases of the emergency operation. The MRCS also attended the weekly meetings run by the State Emergency Commission (the main government body responsible for co-ordinating relief activities) who regularly provided statistics and information on the situation. Coordination meetings enabled the Red Cross to avoid duplication of aid, and to identify areas needing relief assistance.

(pdf* format - 89.6 KB)