Ulaanbaatar, January 24, 2017; Harsh winter conditions are severely impacting herders and their livestock in the Northern part of Mongolia. In response to the deteriorating situation, the United Nations has allocated $1.1 million through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to launch a rapid humanitarian response and provide life-saving assistance.
Across the country, 157,000 people (37,000 herder households) in 17 out of 21 provinces in Mongolia are affected with 8,000 households in urgent need of support.
The early onset of winter in late October 2016 and high levels of snowfall in large parts of the Northern belt that exceeds those of the last dzud winter have put the precarious livelihoods faced by many herders under further strain.
Incomes have continued to be hurt by falling meat prices since late 2015. Averse weather patterns over the summer and autumn in 2016 with drought conditions in the North-East affected pasture growth and late autumn rains destroyed part of the harvest. This jeopardized the preparation of sufficient forage reserves that are needed to get the livestock, on which herder livelihoods depend, through the extended and cold winter.
Complementing the efforts of the government, UN-CERF funds aim to address the most urgent needs of 3,500 poorest and most vulnerable herder households across 36 soums in 13 aimags. To assist herder families to access essential items such as food, fuel and basic medications, CERF will provide multipurpose cash grants. The most vulnerable families will also receive animal feed packages and veterinary first aid kits to minimize the loss of livestock as their main source of food and income. “The current severe weather is threatening the survival and dignity of thousands of herder families. This life-saving and time critical assistance, will help shield the poorest and most vulnerable from the potentially devastating effects” said Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia.
Brigadier General T. Badral, Chief of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) thanked the United Nations for its assistance in overcoming the harsh winter situation in Mongolia saying “I hope that this humanitarian assistance will reach the herder households most in need and believe that it will improve their livelihoods.” The CERF funded interventions, which will be carried out by UNDP and FAO, are due to begin in February 2017. These will supplement ongoing health, nutrition and protection activities carried out by UN agencies including WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA and will be closely coordinated with interventions of the government and other humanitarian partners.
An estimated total of $6.7million is required to meet the humanitarian needs created by the current extreme weather, of which the CERF grant will cover some 16 per cent as an initial response. The Humanitarian Country Team will continue to advocate for additional resources to ensure that life-saving needs of the most vulnerable households in all parts of Mongolia are met.
Contact for More Information: Mariyam Nawaz, Communications Officer, UN Resident Coordinators Office, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 976 (11) 327585/Ext 1106, Cell: 9542 1358