Since December 2015, heavy snow has hit 60% of the territory of the country. In Mongolia, severe winter weather in which livestock perish is known as a “zud”. This year has been particularly severe with temperatures falling to below -40 C. Across 339 soums (districts), herders, their families and the livestock upon which they depend have been experiencing severe zud conditions which, as of 10th March, have killed 360,000 animals. Because of lack of nutrition many animals are now very weak; it is estimated that 1.2 million will die before the winter is over. For this reason, the United Nations Representation in Mongolia has taken the decision to provide USD 2.4 million in emergency support for the herders and their families. The aid, which will be supplied from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will be will be implemented in 4 directions: nutrition, household support, agriculture and restoring normal living conditions.
Under the nutrition and household-support heading – food, vitamins and hygiene products will be provided to the herders’ families. Under the agriculture heading, fodder and other items required to provent further animal mortality will be implemented. The final CERF support will target low-income families; they will receive direct cash interventions to enable them to buy heating fuel, petrol and warm clothes etc.