Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2000/0019
Mongolia - Snowstorms
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
14 February 2000
The Government of Mongolia requests International Assistance to Herders beset by devastating Snowstorms
Situation and Damage
1. Heavy snowstorms and extreme cold throughout this winter in the southern and western aimags (provinces) of Mongolia, particularly in Bayanhongor, Dundgove, Zavhan, Uvurhangai and parts of Bulgan aimags, have led to severe loss of livestock, which constitute the main means of subsistence for thousands of herders and their families. Currently 90 percent of the country is covered by snow with a depth of 7 to 43 centimetres. According to available data of the Mongolian Government as of today, three people died and 577,349 heads of cattle, sheep and goats were killed by the snowstorms. Due to the shortage of pasture and animal fodder more than 1,000 people in 29 soms (counties) of 11 aimags have migrated to other aimags.
2. It is expected that the severity of the situation is to increase further in many areas and that the disaster will continue throughout the second quarter of the year.
3. There is an ongoing campaign to help affected herders and so far warm clothes, medicaments, food and a cash amount of Tugrik 104.7 million (USD 97,900) have been collected. 1,800 tons of animal fodder was distributed to 10 disaster-affected aimags from the Mongolian Government resource fund.
4. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) is planning to organize immediate emergency care to rural people, to raise funds for necessary medicaments and supplies and to organize mobile teams of doctors and specialists.
5. On 11 February the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN in New York asked the Acting United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator for international assistance to the people, including children, in the disaster stricken areas in support of national efforts already underway to cope with the snowstorms.
6. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is in close contact with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in order to monitor the situation and to coordinate UN system assistance. The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mongolia plans to send a UN inter-agency team composed of members from UNDP, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA to the affected areas this week. OCHA will revert with further information on the situation and assistance requirements as soon as available.
7. WHO has decided to provide USD 5,000 to the MOHSW for procurement of urgent health-related supplies.
8. OCHA is prepared to serve as channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHY12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Mongolia - Snowstorms. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.
9. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of bilateral relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.
10. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Desk Officers (OCHA Disaster Response Branch): Ms. S. Metzner-Strack / Mr. R. Mueller / Mr. S. Matsuka direct Tel. +41-22-917 21 44 / 31 31 / 40 34
Press contact: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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