Mongolia Dzud - Disaster Response
Mongolia has been experiencing extreme weather conditions since November 2015, called a dzud – an event occurring when a harsh winter follows a very dry summer. Mongolia experienced a severe drought during Summer 2015 and an extremely harsh winter followed in 2016; one of the worst in years. And this winter is already experiencing dangerously low temperatures. Daytime temperatures are extremely low – persisting at -25C – and fall to -38C during the night so people and their animals are left at extreme risk from exposure. The summer’s drought situation has amplified the problem for nomadic herders as the bad weather conditions didn’t allow them to stock up on grazing materials like hay – pasturelands were too dry to allow any surplus. Nomadic herders just don’t have enough to feed their animals and allow them to survive the harsh winter conditions. All over Mongolia, animals are economical assets families rely on to make a living. A similar dzud disaster in the winter of 2009 -2010 resulted in the deaths of approximately 8.5 million livestock (20% of the livestock population of Mongolia). The 2009 – 2010 dzud deprived poor herder families in the worst affected areas of their only source of income.
In response to the immediate needs to cope with exposure to cold weather, World Animal Protection provided life-saving emergency sheltering materials benefiting over 160,000 animals in February and March, 2016. In the second phase of disaster relief, we provided 750 of the worst affected households in Dundgovi Province with a one-month emergency nutrition pack. This intervention directly benefited a minimum of 94,875 animals of the herder households suffering the greatest livestock losses through the winter. The pack included milk supplements to newborns, increasing strength of the young and reducing added burden to weakened mothers. Additionally, essential mineral blocks were included to provide nutrients for adult sheep and goats. Animals regained strength and mortality rate significantly decreased, protecting the livelihoods of herders and improving overall welfare for all animals within the herds. We are now entering our third phase of disaster intervention that will benefit more than 348,000 animals. We hope to help prepare the households with prepositioned, emergency nutritional supplements, strategically placed in six geographical regions across Mongolia. Our team will conduct monitoring and evaluation activities during distribution to ensure delivery of quality materials to intended locations and to record World Animal Protection in action with the Mongolian Red Cross Society and International Federation of Red Cross. The prepositioning of nutritional supplements for immediate distribution will not only relieve the suffering of animals and reduce weather-related mortality rates, but also minimize human and financial resources.
- Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
- Animal Welfare