Dzud anticipatory response provides aid to affected herder families in Mongolia

MONGOLIA, 1 FEBRUARY 2023 - Mongolia is highly vulnerable to severe winter conditions and cold waves, known locally as ‘Dzud’. Unique to Mongolia, this natural phenomenon is a consequence of summer drought followed by heavy snowfalls and extreme cold. The Mongolia Meteorological Agency has announced an early warning for Dzud, forecasting about 60% of the total territory being at high to very high risks. World Vision is particularly concerned about the well-being of vulnerable children in the affected areas, especially during the peak of the winter season (December to March). 

According to the latest data of UN Mongolia, a total of 50,952 vulnerable families are in high-risk provinces and are likely to lose their livestock-based livelihoods. Poor families do not have enough fodder stock for winter time when animals need 2-4 times the normal amount to survive. If there is no immediate anticipatory action taken, children are likely to suffer from their families' decreased livelihoods. Dwindling livestock herds and the competing priority of fodder purchases to save livestock will directly compromise the food security in families, leading to child malnutrition.

World Vision Mongolia has activated a 7-month response, covering elements of anticipatory action, relief, and recovery to protect the well-being of children from the harsh winter and the livestock-based livelihoods of vulnerable herder families. The target is to assist 25,339 households who live in Dzud high-risk areas, including 42,570 girls, 33,447 boys, 27,138 women, 15,935 men and people with disabilities.   

At this moment, World Vision Mongolia is on the ground responding to the urgent needs of the Dzud-affected population through Anticipatory Action initiatives in 6 western provinces. Life-saving relief assistance, including flour, rice, food, and animal nutrition, have been provided to 3,000 vulnerable herder families who have been severely impacted by Dzud.

Further assistance, including food, cash/vouchers, non-food items, and animal fodder for life-saving intervention, will be provided during the critical Dzud's period, which is predicted to be March-April 2023. Recovery activities will entail training for herders in effective fodder production and disaster preparedness.