Red Cross Launches Appeal on Mongolia (severe storms)

Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
Tuesday, March 30, 2010.
International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) on Monday appealed CHF 1,062,295 (US$991,697) in cash, kind, or services to support the Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) to assist 13,600 animal herders who have lost their entire livestock to one of the worst winters in the last three decades.

According to the Mongolian Red Cross Society, 4.5 million livestock have died so far since December 2009, nearly 10 percent of the nation’s animal population. Four human deaths were reported, mainly maternal deaths, to have occurred in snow-blocked residences in remote areas that have no possibility to reach by ambulance.

More than 90 percent or 19 out of 21 provinces of Mongolia have been covered with heavy snow in which more than 3,400 herder families have been severely affected.

Millions of livestock carcasses now lie scattered across the Mongolian steppe, half-buried in the snow, which may cause outbreak of a disease, national health experts warned, when it gets warm and snow thaws. Another warning is a potential risk of flash flooding of thawed snow in April and May.

“Analysis over the past two months indicates a deterioration in the coping capacities of the population. The impact is greatest for more than 3,000 herder families (12,000 people) who have lost their entire livestock reserve.” IFRC stated.

“In response to the increasing needs of the most affected population, this Emergency Appeal supports MRCS in providing herder families with the timely delivery of relief assistance through the distribution of food and non-food items as well as the provision of psychosocial support to the most vulnerable families affected by the severe winter. Additional support for herder families in rebuilding their livelihoods will be provided through recovery interventions, the details of which will be defined through further assessments defining targeted support.”

The MRCS also appealed media organizations for their cooperation in giving warm messages to animal herders. “Psychological support is vitally needed for those strongly affected,” said R.Samdandovj, Secretary General of the MRCS. Some local media outlets have published opinion pieces to remind “lazy” animal herders, who have not prepared reserves of fodder in the warm season, are accountable for loss of their own private assets.

No comments: