By Chris Weeks
Ulaanbaatar, 23 April, 2018 - Journalists from Mongolia have shown their commitment to reducing disaster risk through participating in a unique training course, highlighting reporters’ vital role in bolstering community resilience.
“We felt helpless. We didn’t know what would happen in the future. We didn’t know how we would live,” says Gereltsog, a Steppe herder in Mongolia whose 500 livestock risked being wiped out in the winter of 2016-2017 due to deep snow and lack of feed.“Caritas came at the right moment.”
ULAANBAATAR, 22 February 2018 – A joint report commissioned by the National Center for Public Health and UNICEF raises the alarm about the implications of air pollution on children’s health. The authors estimate that if Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution levels do not rapidly decrease in the coming years, the financial cost of treating air pollution related diseases in children is expected to increase 33 per cent by 2025. This means an additional cost of MNT 4.8 billion (just over US$2 million) per year for the public health system by 2025.
The IFRC today released US$ 277,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to enable the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) to assist 2,500 herder families facing very severe winter conditions in seven provinces with cash grants or emergency supplies.
“The emergency help we’re announcing will target the hardest-hit households, those with young children, or five or more children, an older person, or someone with a disability,” said Gwendolyn Pang, Beijing-based head of the IFRC’s East Asia region.
“It will be enough to cover their essential needs for at least one month.”
Beijing / Kuala Lumpur, 15 February 2018 – Severe winter conditions called Dzud have followed a summer drought, leaving millions of animals at risk of starvation in Mongolia. Without the animals as a source of income, food and transport, herders and their families will remain trapped in severe conditions with a lack of basic health care and social services, or forced to migrate to Ulaanbaatar and live in extreme poverty.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The IFRC said today that with well over half of Mongolia now facing at least a ‘high risk’ of a third consecutive winter dzud, it’s augmenting its operation for the 2016–17 disaster to support preparedness and capacity building with the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS); this follows “close consultation with the affected population and relevant authorities”.
• 17 December 2016: An information bulletin is issued highlighting the upcoming dzud and its potential impacts. The bulletin informs that more likely, it is the northern part of country that will be most affected.
It also indicates that shortage of food is already impacting more than 16,000 families that had to move to new pastures.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Prolonged drought in 2017 acutely affected crop production and livestock conditions
Wheat import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to sharply increase on reduced output
Prices of beef and mutton decreased seasonally in recent months
Crop production in 2017 acutely affected by severe drought
A severe drought in mid-2017 gravely affected large agricultural producing areas and pasture rangelands.
The 2017 production of wheat, the country's main staple food, is forecast at 231 000 tonnes, almost half of last year’s high level and more than 40 percent lower than the average of the previous five years. The impact on other crops, including potatoes, barley, oats and buckwheat, was also severe.