Mongolia: Emergency Preparedness & Response

Mongolia: Emergency Preparedness & Response

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Climate change and the negative effects of human activity on the environment have an extreme impact on nomadic herders in Mongolia. Dzud, a severe winter typical for Mongolia, occurs increasingly often and causes extensive die-offs of livestock. As a consequence, herders lose their only source of livelihood. 

Traditionally, herder households had very profoundly developed methods of coping with the harsh climate and the extremely demanding conditions of the herder’s way of life. However, these days the increased frequency of dzud has considerably reduced their resilience. We distribute special feed and multivitamins for undernourished animals and provide affected herders with cash to cover their basic needs. 

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Ongoing aidorPast aid programmes

Humanitarian aid

Humanitarian aid

On the basis of evaluation of the needs of herder families hit by the 2016-2017 jud, in collaboration with international organisations including the UN, we have identified two basic needs of the stricken households. The first is access to basic daily consumption needs such as food, winter clothing, medicines, heating fuels and finances for buying telephone credit or costs of travel to the regional centres.

The second is access to food for cattle which is the only source of income for herder families. If they were to lose their herd or their numbers were to fall significantly in consequence of the jud, the household in question would be left completely without livelihood and have to resort to negative survival strategies, such as reducing the number of daily meals, debts, hired work for richer herders contributing an absolute minimum towards the survival of the family, taking their children out of school, migration to towns etc.
Aid to herder families stricken by drought and hard winter

Aid to herder families stricken by drought and hard winter

The rural inhabitants of eastern Mongolia mainly rely on herding as their only source of livelihood. Widespread drought and subsequent steppe fires in the summer of 2015 caused considerable losses for many families. The hard winter that followed (known as the jud), with very low temperatures and heavy snowfall which making it almost impossible for animals to get to any food, was another blow for the locals. A shortage of feed for the cattle combined with low wholesale meat prices and poor transport access to markets have led to insufficient incomes for households and has plunged them deep into debt.  
    
Between February and June 2016, in collaboration with Charita ČR, the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency and the Mongolian Red Cross, People in Need distributed food and financial aid for three thousand stricken families in the affected Dornod, Sukhbaatar, Khentii and Dornogobi provinces. The project was financed by the European Commission.

PIN continues to work with the families of herders on increasing their resilience against future juds. In collaboration with the Italian non-profit organisation ASIA Onlus with the support of the Waldensian Evangelical Church, PIN also encourages mutual solidarity between the wealthier and more vulnerable herder families.   

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