Mongolia is a country of rolling steppes and dusty deserts, with a harsh climate and the sparsest population density in the world. The most common source of income and livelihood is agriculture and animal husbandry. Mongolia’s economy collapsed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union but recently has been experiencing economic growth due to its abundant natural resources. However, despite its blooming economy, over one quarter of the population in Mongolia lives below the poverty line. People in Need launched its program in Mongolia in 2009, and since then has provided emergency assistance to thousands of herders and their families affected by an extremely harsh winter, the so-called dzud.
Severe winters, dzud, which used to come once in ten years, now occur even once in two years. An abnormally dry summer is followed by an extremely harsh winter causing extensive die-offs of livestock. Herders lose their livelihoods and suffer from a lack of staple foods, heating materials, and winter clothing. We help affected families to restore their agricultural livelihoods and prepare for severe winters in the future.
Besides emergency response, we also focus on sustainable development and improvement of livelihoods in rural areas. Another goal is to raise entrepreneurs´ and business associations´ awareness about their approach towards having funds for further development. We support sheep wool processing in order to gain building materials with thermal insulation, with an emphasis on the supply chain as a whole, involving sheep breeders as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
We also support local civil society organizations (CSOs) and state authorities. By virtue of the educational programme One World at Schools, schools in Mongolia were shown how they can incorporate documentary films into lesson plans relating to global issues.
Inhabitants of far-flung rural areas in Mongolia have very limited access to health care. Therefore, we have provided these areas with mobile ambulances with modern diagnostic devices, and equipped remote hospitals with ultrasounds.