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Mongolia: Under 5 mortality up 35-40% in Dzud affected area, ARI major cause of death

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  • Mongolia: Under 5 mortality up 35-40% in Dzud affected area, ARI major cause of death

    Mongolia Dzud Situation Report 2
    Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

    Date: 06 Feb 2010


    Mongolia is currently experiencing a "Dzud," a multiple natural hazard consisting of a summer drought followed by a heavy winter snow with significantly colder temperatures.


    The severe weather threatens nomadic and isolated herder families, especially poor families who lack the resources to stockpile food or fuel for heating. 1.7 million livestock deaths have been reported as of 31 January, with the Government estimating that this could rise to 3-4 million heads of livestock by spring. If immediate assistance is not provided, spreading poverty will lead to mass migration to the cities later this year. Around 21 560 people have left their aimags (provinces) in search of better pastureland in the central regions.

    Children remaining at home or in school dormitories continue to be at risk, since affected dormitories lack adequate heating facilities. Around 22 200 children in 265 dormitories remain in need of assistance.

    Based on assessments conducted by partner agencies, current health concerns include:

    - Extended food shortages
    - Lack of access to adequate heating materials
    - Limited access to medical treatment, especially for obstetric and emergency cases
    - Increase in the incidence of acute respiratory infections and pneumonia
    - Increased malnutrition and acute infections
    - Lack of first-aid knowledge among herders, especially regarding the treatment of frostbite
    - Increased levels of stress and anxiety among the affected population
    - Risk of injury during attempts to save livestock.

    The Ministry of Health's expressed needs continue to be:

    - Essential drugs, supplies and equipment to manage hypothermia
    - Nutritional supplements especially for pregnant and lactating mothers and children under five
    - Protective gear including warm clothes, boots, and gloves for health care workers
    - Logistical support for routine immunization and for continued H1N1 vaccination
    - Mental health and psychosocial support for those who have suffered losses
    - Support and supervision for emergency health care workers in terms of transport and per diem for supervisors


    No deaths or serious injuries have been reported as of 3 February 2010.


    Government Response

    The Government has conducted an assessment mission, with the report due within the week. The Government is also coordinating the response to the emergency, including the delivery of logistical support and relief goods to affected areas. The Government has appealed for international aid to organize a coordinated campaign of assistance to counter the disaster's impact on the livelihood and health of the affected population.

    International Response

    The UN continues to coordinate all donor contributions, with the last meeting held on 1 February. The UN Emergency team continues to coordinate the humanitarian response, including the writing of situation reports, press releases, and appeals for aid. Geographic mapping is being done to determine priority areas for response. International partners and concerned governments have conducted assessments and given financial aid, food and non-food items.

    WHO Response

    The WHO assisted the Ministry of Health in developing a proposal to address the expressed needs of the country, including: organization of mental health and psychosocial support teams and distribution of guidelines for mental health, health services for children and pregnant women, protective clothing for emergency health care workers, medical supplies for the treatment of frostbite and hypothermia, support for assessment activities


    - UN Country Team in Mongolia Situation Report No.2, Severe Winter Weather, 2 February 2010

    - “Dire winter triggers livestock disaster in Mongolia,” FAO report, 2 February 2010

    For further information please contact:

    WHO Mongolia
    Dr Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn
    WHO Representative
    Tel : (976) 11 327870
    Fax: (976) 11-324683

    WHO Mongolia
    Dr Salik Govind
    Medical Officer
    Tel : (675) 325-7827
    Fax: (976) 11-324683

    WHO Regional Office
    Dr Arturo Pesigan
    Tel: (632) 528 9810
    Fax: (632) 528 9072
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

  • #2
    Re: Mongolia Dzud Situation Report 2

    UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status
    Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

    Date: 12 Feb 2010

    UNICEF intensifies efforts to reach children in the hardest hit rural areas

    ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA 12 February 2010 – In response to weeks of freezing temperatures and heavy snows have left more than half of Mongolia's 21 provinces in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF has mobilized to help children and families, addressing their most urgent humanitarian concerns, including food, fuel for heating and cooking, blankets, and warm clothing.

    The Government of Mongolia has declared disaster status in 12 provinces, with a further seven provinces predicted to move to disaster status shortly as temperatures continue to hover around -40 Celsius and further heavy snow is expected.

    The children's agency is working close collaboration with other UN agencies, including UNFPA, FAO and UNDP, with the Government of Mongolia and major NGOs, to gear up a significant humanitarian response and coordinated the response to the challenges of this unfolding emergency.

    These winter conditions, known locally as a dzud, are likely to continue beyond April, and the severity of the coming months will determine the unfolding extent of the humanitarian and food security efforts needed.

    While the people of Mongolia are used to cold winter conditions, it is the combination of a severe summer drought, where little fodder was generated, and severely cold temperatures that harden heavy snow which have crippled the rural population largely reliant on herding and agriculture.

    So far, the dzud has killed more than two million livestock, devastated the livelihoods of families in the agriculture sector, which employs 35 – 40 per cent of the population, and isolated herders and villages from accessing food, fuel and medical care.

    In the previous dzud of 2001, not considered as severe as the current one, Mongolia suffered a deepening of poverty and lowered GDP, raised chronic malnutrition levels, and watched a massive influx of the rural population to the peri-urban areas around the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

    The Government has appealed to the local and international community for urgent support to reach the herders with fodder, fuel, medicines, food and warm clothing.

    UNICEF has already responded to a call for support from the Ministry of Education for urgent attention to failing heating systems and limited food supplies in 18 school dormitories where children are housed, facing difficulties to return to their families due to the dangerous travel conditions. A convoy to some of the villages in the worst affected areas will shortly deliver food, fuel, blankets, hygiene kits, and boots to vulnerable poor families.

    "This is an unfolding emergency, said Rana Flowers, the UNICEF Representative in Mongolia. "Of most recent and most urgent concern is evidence that babies and young children are dying because they cannot access the medical treatment from trained personnel that they need."

    "The UN is acutely aware of the need to reach increasingly isolated populations with fuel and medicines, to get those in need out to trained medical care and to provide hygiene kits to stem the spread of disease, to ensure safe delivery and newborn care and to prevent the deepening of chronic malnutrition in this country."

    Information from the Ministry of Health received today confirms that 9 young children have died in recent days in one province alone. The figures from other provinces are not yet available.

    "Vulnerability to disease is heightened for those children living in dormitories and in poor households in villages where the heating is not working, the fuel is insufficient and where food is in short supply. There are over 22,000 children in 265 dormitories in need of urgent assistance, but this number grows every few days as the severe conditions spread across the rest of the country widening the net cast by the disaster," Flowers said.

    As the severity of winter conditions spread across the country, as many as 492 additional dormitories will need assistance with more than 41,078 children in their care. Over the last few days, the Mongolian National Emergency Management agency (NEMA) has indicated that several villages are facing diminishing supplies of fuel for heating and cooking. In some cases, the villages only have enough fuel for three or four more days.

    Even in non-emergency times, access to clean water and adequate sanitation are significant areas of concern for Mongolia. Once a thawing begins in the spring, the impact of dead animals and generally poor sanitation practices are predicted to result in a further spread of disease.

    UNICEF says it faces a critical need for an additional USD 400,000 for medical supplies, equipment, micronutrients, and hygiene interventions as well as $322,000 to reach the growing number of affected communities with other life saving interventions.

    As Mongolia moves into the spring, food security concerns will increase and the response will need to be well coordinated. In addition to the ongoing humanitarian efforts, child protection and psychosocial support will also be needed as families struggle with the overwhelming emotional and psychological impact of their losses and to handle difficult migration to burgeoning peri-urban areas where access to water and sanitation and basic social services will be severely limited.

    For further information, please contact:

    Bolor Purevdorj, Communication Specialist,
    Tel + 976 11 312 183 + 976 11 312 183 ; / + 976 11 312 185 + 976 11 312 185
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


    • #3
      Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

      Mongolia: Most Recent Disaster Declaration - Winter Emergency, 2-22-2010
      Source: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

      Date: 22 Feb 2010

      Since late 2009, temperatures as low as 45 degrees below zero Celsius, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions have affected provinces in central and western Mongolia, limiting access to food, fuel, and medical supplies for herders and other vulnerable populations. As of February 17, the Government of Mongolia (GoM) reported that more than 13,000 people, or 3,300 households, live in communities rendered inaccessible by roads blocked by accumulated snow and ice. In addition, approximately 212,000 herders have limited access to food and fuel. GoM governors and country officials have declared local snow disasters, or dzuds, in more than 65 counties and districts in 11 provinces. The U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia, Jonathan S. Addleton, along with the USAID Representative, Chuck Howell, conducted a four-day field assessment to affected provinces to evaluate the humanitarian needs resulting from the extreme winter conditions.

      On February 22, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan S. Addleton declared a disaster due to the effects of the winter emergency and dzud conditions. In response, USAID/OFDA is providing $50,000 to the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the purchase of emergency relief supplies to help meet the needs of affected populations.
      Twitter: @RonanKelly13
      The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


      • #4
        Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

        From the thread on Tuva, Russia (to the north of Mongolia)

        in neighboring Mongolia, already more than one million heads of cattle have died from cold and dzut (ground frozen so hard that animals can’t feed.


        • #5
          Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

          UNICEF airlifts emergency supplies for school children in Mongolia
          Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

          Date: 02 Mar 2010

          ULAANBAATAR, 2 March 2010 - *Urgently needed supplies to assist nearly 4,000 school-age children in the hardest hit areas of the dzud winter emergency in Mongolia were airlifted over the weekend in a joint effort by UNICEF and the Government of Mongolia.

          The initial dispatch of emergency assistance will be followed by six overland truck convoys during the next few weeks, which will fan out to school dormitories in 22 villages in the six hardest-hit provinces of Khuvsgul, Uvs, Zavkhan, Gobi-Altai, Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii to reach children of rural families. In total, the airlift and six convoys will carry combined supplies worth US$137,000.

          The children's agency noted that it is seeking $2.8 million and the current shortfall is $1.3 million - the aim is to deliver emergency supplies to more than 40,000 children

          The supplies, including woolen blankets, warm footwear, hygiene kits and educational materials, are destined for children who live in dormitories in the remote rural countryside in the western part of the country where the dzud winter emergency has taken its most devastating toll on herder families. The assistance is aimed at the most poorly heated and equipped dormitories as identified by local and national government authorities.

          "We are redoubling our efforts to provide essential emergency items and educational materials for school children who are living in remote dormitories as they lack access to heating facilities, food and medical treatment. Protecting children from diseases and malnutrition will be key to our planned interventions over the coming weeks," said UNICEF Representative Rana Flowers.

          A joint monitoring team from UNICEF and the Government of Mongolia, which accompanied the airlift this weekend, is currently on the ground to ensure that the assistance is delivered swiftly, reaching the children most in need.

          In response to a call from the Ministry of Education, UNICEF last month immediately provided more than US$45,000 to repair broken heating systems in 18 educational institutions nationwide housing over 17,000 children.

          UNICEF will continue to assist in the provision of humanitarian aid to children in the most affected provinces. The impact of severe weather conditions is predicted to continue until spring, and food insecurity and acute respiratory disease is expected to increase.

          Weeks of freezing temperatures and heavy snows have left more than half of Mongolia's 21 provinces in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The Government of Mongolia has declared disaster status in 12 provinces, with temperatures continuing to hover around -40C.

          UNICEF, as part of a larger United Nations response, is collaborating with the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (MECS) and of Health (MOH) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The UN allocated US$3.7 million for humanitarian assistance from its Central Emergency Response Fund last week.

          Twitter: @RonanKelly13
          The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


          • #6
            Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

            Mobile Teams Assist Mongolian Mothers Endangered by 'Dzud' Disaster
            Source: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

            Date: 03 Mar 2010

            ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — Mongolia's extreme winter conditions are preventing expectant mothers from reaching health facilities, putting their lives at risk. In response, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is supporting mobile medical teams that have brought life-saving care to women in isolated districts in 12 provinces.

            Last week, a team in Khovd Province rescued a herder who had gone into labour in her tent. Heavy snow blocked the way to the nearest hospital, some 30 kilometres away. "It took us 10 hours to bring her to the district centre," said Dr. Davaabal, chief gynaecologist at the Khovd Health Department. "Luckily, there were no complications and the woman gave birth to a healthy child."

            A drought last summer, followed by heavy winter snow, has created a multiple natural disaster that the Mongolians call a "dzud". Two and a half million livestock have died of starvation, threatening the livelihoods of many nomadic herder families. Snow, which was as deep as 1.2 metres in some areas, has closed roads and made travel almost impossible.

            Bringing health care to Mongolia's nomadic population is a challenge, even in normal conditions. The country's population of fewer than 3 million people is spread out over a vast territory of steppes, deserts and mountains.

            The disaster may have led to at least one maternal death already. In Bulgan district, Khovd province, snow delayed a team responding to a call for emergency obstetric care; the woman died before they arrived.

            Besides supporting the mobile teams, UNFPA has provided reproductive health and hygiene supplies to 6,000 vulnerable women and their families in some of the hardest-hit provinces.

            "The needs of pregnant women and newborns cannot wait until normal times. That is why mobile teams are needed to reach them where they are," said Ms. Argentina Matavel, UNFPA Representative in Mongolia.

            With provincial maternity hospitals hard to reach, more births are taking place at smaller district hospitals, leading to shortages of essential medicines, equipment and supplies. UNFPA, in close coordination with UNICEF, WHO and other organizations, is providing midwifery kits to 80 local hospitals. This allows medical staff to conduct normal deliveries and, if there are complications, to stabilize patients before sending them to the provincial hospital. UNFPA has received $242,000 from the UN's Central Emergency Relief Fund to conduct these activities.

            The Ministry of Health and UNFPA are discussing the longer-term implications of the crisis and preparing recovery activities. Pledged assistance from Australia will enable the Fund to provide psychosocial and livelihood support to female-headed households.

            For more information, please contact:

            in Ulaanbaatar, Francine Egberts, tel. +976 88 90 1948 +976 88 90 1948 ,;

            in Bangkok, William A. Ryan, tel. +66 2 687 0118 +66 2 687 0118 ,
            Twitter: @RonanKelly13
            The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


            • #7
              Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

              Extracts from: Mongolia's harsh winter of discontent
              Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

              Date: 15 Mar 2010

              By Michael Kohn (AFP)

              SERGELEN, Mongolia — After enduring a harsh winter last year that killed almost half of her 1,000 head of livestock, Baatariin Erdenechimeg moved halfway across Mongolia in search of a new start.

              But this winter has been no better -- her family has lost a third of its remaining animals and may lose more before the warmer weather returns.


              More than 3.5 million animals -- cows, sheep, goats, yaks, horses and camels -- have died so far, with 60 percent of the country still buried under deep snow.


              Twitter: @RonanKelly13
              The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


              • #8
                Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

                Severe winter devastates Mongolian herder families
                Source: British Red Cross

                Date: 16 Apr 2010

                A particularly severe winter in Mongolia is having a devastating impact on more than 12,000 people from herding families, whose entire reserves of livestock have died in the harsh conditions.

                These livestock are the primary source of income and food for nomadic families, and as a result thousands are struggling to survive. The impact on the country's vital livestock reserves has increased dramatically in the past month. In March, the government reported the overall number of deceased animals increased from one million to 4.5 million in less than a month, and now stands at approximately 10 per cent of the country's total livestock.

                The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has released £65,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund and issued an emergency appeal seeking £645,000 to support 13,600 beneficiaries for six months.

                Red Cross support

                The British Red Cross has also released £45,000 from its Disaster Fund which will support the Federation appeal, but more money is needed to help the Mongolian Red Cross provide food and non-food relief items, such as blankets and medical supplies.

                More than ninety per cent of Mongolia is affected by this severe winter, which is compounded by dzud, a natural occurring phenomenon resulting from continuous heavy snowfall combined with extreme cold and preceded by dry summers.

                Pete Garratt, British Red Cross disaster response manger, said: "The current conditions mean there are insufficient grazing pastures for the nomadic herding community. The large-scale death of livestock is undermining the welfare of herder families and their ability to produce food and make a living.

                Protecting household incomes

                "We've sent two delegates to Mongolia who specialise in working with households when their income and ability to get food is affected by a crisis. The delegates will talk to the herder families and work with them to find out what they need to buy or do in order to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

                "Depending on the assessments this may result in the families being provided with assets or cash to help them recover their livelihoods."

                Facing trauma

                The government has declared a national disaster and reports 133 districts across 19 of the country's 21 provinces are suffering from the harsh conditions with up to 507,000 people affected. It has appealed to the local and international community for food, medical and heating supplies as well as funds to procure fodder for livestock.

                According to the World Bank, animal husbandry accounts for around 35 per cent of employment in Mongolia and there is evidence of increasing destitution. The most vulnerable herder families, with limited available resources, are facing difficulty in securing adequate food to feed their families and fuel to heat their gers – traditional felt tent homes. This is compounded by the increasing costs, reported to be three times the normal price, for the limited supplies of animal feed, transport and machinery.

                There have been reports of herders taking their own lives, emphasising the trauma faced by this vulnerable population. In addition to helping families recover their livelihoods, the Red Cross will also provide psycho-social support to help families deal with the traumatic situation.

                Read about the Red Cross social care project in Mongolia

                A donation from our Disaster Fund has been made in response to this crisis. Contributions to the Disaster Fund will not be used directly in response to this disaster, but will be used in response to other emergencies in the future.
                Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


                • #9
                  Re: UNICEF: Severe winter 'dzud' pushes most of Mongolia to disaster status

                  Outreach social services for children and women in dzud-affected provinces receive a further boost from UNICEF
                  Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

                  Date: 28 Apr 2010

                  28 April, Ulaanbaatar – As Spring unfolds the dramatic costs of the Dzud for Mongolian children and women continue to mount. Among those increasing their response to the affected populations, UNICEF today handed over three vehicles to directly support dzud relief efforts in the aimags of Khovd, Uvs and Bayan-Ulgii. The vehicles are a part of a larger UNICEF contribution which includes food, nutrition supplements, health equipment, medicines, boots, blankets, hygiene items, recreation kits and psychosocial support. Several shipments have already reached affected populations and several more will be delivered over the coming weeks.

                  UNICEF is collaborating with the government, local and international organizations to provide assistance to the children particularly those of the families that have lost their income source, their capacity to buy food, fuel or ensure health and education for their children. The hand-over of the vehicles to the representatives of the aimags' governments was attended by Ms. Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative and Mr B. J. Lkhagva, Head of the Office for Regional Development. In passing the vehicles Ms Flowers thanked in particular the Government of Luxembourg, whose generous contribution had made purchase of two of the vehicles possible.

                  "As was predicted, the costs borne by the largely poor communities are mounting as we move into Spring," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative. "These costs include the unacceptable loss of life. Children are dying and will continue to die if we fail to reach them urgently with the necessary food, nutrition, and health support. There can be no doubt that the Dzud has built on and made worse the existing urban / rural disparities in access to basic social services. Overcoming these disparities must continue to be a goal for development in Mongolia over the coming period", she added.

                  According to UNICEF, the most recent health statistics emphasize the need for urgent attention to the humanitarian impact of this disaster. While an increase in the deaths of children under-5 years was noted already for both January and February of 2010 in the affected areas, it is the further increase in this figure for March 2010 that gives considerable concern and demands a concerted response. The health statistics for March indicate a 35-40% increase in infant and under-five child mortality in some of the dzud-affected areas. In the first three months of 2009 for example, an under-five mortality rate of 23.4 per 1000 live births was recorded. For the same period in 2010, under-five child mortality has already reached 28.7 per 1000 live births with a dramatic increase in the affected aimags reaching 39.7.
                  Because the children are dying from preventable causes such as acute respiratory infections (ARI) and complications, UNICEF will also provide essential health and nutrition items worth USD 495,000 to rural health facilities of dzud-affected 133 soums in 12 aimags. The essential medicines and equipment for aimag and soum clinics for early treatment of ARI, diarrhea and essential newborn care include oxygen concentrators and nebulizers, oral rehydration salt and zinc tablets, as well as baby warmers, newborn feeding tubes and midwifery kits. In addition, UNICEF is planning to deliver multiple micronutrient (MMP) tablets for mothers and MMP packs for children aged 6-24 months, iron syrup, child growth monitoring and promotion devices for soum health facilities, as well therapeutic foods for acutely malnourished children to be treated at aimag hospitals. Ms. Flowers added that UNICEF further plans to provide two months' supply of fortified flour to children in 25 schools and 21 kindergartens in harshly-affected aimags.

                  To date, UNICEF has mobilized from its internal resources, as well as generous contributions from the UN CERF, the Governments of Australia, Luxembourg, US and Brazil: USD 1.61 million worth of assistance some of which has been used to deliver packages of essential daily use items, such as warm blankets, boots, recreational kits, hand sanitizers, soap and hygienic items for about 4,000 children staying in dormitories in 22 extremely-affected soums of Khuvsgul, Uvs, Zavkhan, Gobi-Altai, Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii provinces. A two-month supply of coal was rushed to help keep 135 schools and kindergartens warm in the hardest-hit eleven provinces. Furthermore, warm boots were delivered to over 3,200 children of grades 1-3 staying in dormitories in 104 dzud-affected soums.

                  In addition to the focus given to children of school age, UNICEF is responding to a call from Government for attention to the situation of young children at home with traumatized families. Therefore, in March 2010, UNICEF supported a series of training for 462 school, dormitory teachers, social workers, community representatives and parents in 21 soums of five provinces to equip them with the knowledge on psychosocial support to children and to the herder families facing dramatic losses. With the view to the importance of keeping the population informed and building the national capacity emergency preparedness over 20 professionals from the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Authority for Children were trained on the communication for development concept, development of content and key messages for family preparedness for natural disasters and emergencies.

                  Dzud is an unfolding disaster hence long-term support is needed for the recovery and future preparedness activities. The United Nations team in Mongolia is working together to address the concerns, to ensure coordination with partners, and to mobilize further resources to deliver crucial humanitarian, agricultural and early recovery support as the impact of this disaster continues to impact the poorest in Mongolia.
                  Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                  The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


                  • #10
                    Re: Mongolia: Under 5 mortality up 35-40% in Dzud affected area, ARI major cause of death

                    Severe winter
                    Emergency appeal n° MDRMN004
                    GLIDE n° CW-2010-000010-MNG
                    Operations update n° 2
                    27 May 2010


                    The situation
                    The rural population of Mongolia, consisting mainly of nomadic herding communities, suffered severely under extended and extreme winter weather conditions that have impacted the country. The situation is further exacerbated by environmental degradation as a result of the excessive grazing of limited pastures in some areas and severe winter conditions. The dzud is a natural phenomenon that describes these extreme weather
                    conditions which can see a sharp drop of temperature and recurrent and prolonged snowfall that has a devastating effect on the livelihood of herders by causing a serious loss of livestock as well as affecting their own
                    health. Herding is the main livelihood for 80 per cent of the rural community throughout Mongolia. The herding practices have been followed through generations and most families involved are subsistence herders whose
                    animals provide hope and security for present and future generations.
                    As of May 2010, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the government’s focal disaster response and relief agency, loss of livestock throughout the country has reached up to 8.5 million, which
                    is almost 20 per cent of the total livestock population (43.6 million) documented before the onset of the disaster.

                    The latest available report from the government and United Nations in Mongolia indicates that the following:
                    Population directly affected by the dzud (disaggregated data from 165 villages in 15 affected provinces)
                    Total population
                    769,106: of which
                    43,555: herders who have lost all livestock:
                    163,780: herders who lost half their livestock or more
                    Total households 217,144
                    Children under 18 years
                    279,609 (36% of total affected population) of which
                    18,048: children in dormitories: 18,048
                    77,621: children under 5
                    Elderly aged 60 and above 44,260 (6%)
                    Pregnant women 8,711 (1%)
                    While dzud is commonly believed to be a “winter disaster”, its worst impact is felt in the following spring and
                    summer. Currently, the most obvious problems the affected communities face are:
                    - Loss of livelihoods
                    - Food insecurity
                    - Psychological trauma
                    - Risk of mass migration from rural areas to the cities in search of alternative employment
                    - Health risks increased due to carcasses buried inadequately

                    The government anticipates a potential mass migration of more than 20,000 people, and with the United Nations
                    Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), has identified potential land space for migrants, although it has
                    acknowledged the challenges it faces in the provision of basic social services.


                    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.