Mongolia is a land of climate extremes, with long, cold winters and short summers. For a third of Mongolia's population whose livelihoods are dependent on nomadic herding, harsh winter conditions represent a significant challenge. Extreme cold temperatures coupled with heavy winter snowfalls can result in dzud, when thousands of animals die due to inability to graze or reach water. In the last 70 years, Mongolia has experienced 12 large-scale dzuds, with a total livestock loss of 40.1 million; over 60% died in the four dzuds since 1999.
This year's winter has been extremely cold and in some places the temperatures dropped to -50 degree Celsius. A series of heavy snowfalls worsened the situation and some aimags (provinces) are covered in snow up to 23-25 cm deep. In mountainous areas, the snow is as deep as 50-90 cm. If conditions continue, livestock may start die and jeopardize the livelihoods of local herder households. According to the government assessment, as of January 2017, 110 soums (districts) in 15 aimags are already at risk of dzud. In the areas with heavy snow fall, people are at risk of losing their access to food, fuel, and emergency services due to poor conditions or blocked road. In a number of soums, these issues are exacerbated by extremely low temperatures, putting both people and livestock at an increased risk. Specifically, pregnant women, children and elderly people are most likely to suffer from these conditions.
Mercy Corps Mongolia is implementing the Leveraging Tradition and Science in Disaster Risk Reduction Project 2 (LTS2) to reduce the risk of dzud to herder communities in Mongolia through on-demand weather information, increased local planning and risk reduction capacity and to mitigate the negative effects of the dzud by supporting local communities to plan and implement livestock related recovery activities that support long-term sustainability of extensive herding systems.
Within the framework of LTS2 project, Mercy Corps is announcing a Call for Proposals in 15 target aimags to support recovery and protection interventions of livestock from 2015/16 dzud and the current harsh winter conditions. Read More...
Mongolia is facing the cumulative effects of socio-political, economic, and ecological shocks and stresses that undermine its potential for inclusive and sustainable growth. In response to that Mercy Corps has designed the Resilient Communities project (RCP) that aims to achieve growth in income and social well-being for Mongolia’s rural communities by stimulating meat production and export opportunities in its livestock economy. One of the program objectives is focused on increasing financial inclusion of herders and rural businesses, improving access to and use of a variety of financial and insurance products.
On January 13, 2017 Mercy Corps Mongolia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Credit Guarantee Fund of Mongolia (CGFM). Mercy Corps and the CGFM will cooperate to provide loan guarantee services to rural businesses lacking loan collateral. Under the MoU Mercy Corps will be promoting CGFM’s services, organizing trainings to strengthen capacity of meat value chain actors, helping to develop credit guarantee products and facilitating linkages between herders and meat processors with the CGFM. CGFM will be supporting RCP activities in hub aimags and working with commercial banks to offer loan guarantee and other financial products and services to target clients.
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