On January 24, the United Nations allocated 1.1 million USD through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to launch a rapid humanitarian response and provide life-saving assistance to herders facing harsh winter conditions in the northern parts of Mongolia.

According to the UN, this year’s cold snaps and heavy snowfall are far worse than last year’s and have affected around 157,000 people in 17 provinces. Reportedly, 37,000 of these people are herders and 8,000 households are in urgent need of support. The CERF will provide multipurpose cash grants to 3,500 of the most vulnerable families so that they can access essential items, such as food, fuel, and basic medications. The UN will also be distributing animal feed packages and veterinary first aid kits to minimize the loss of livestock, the main source of food and income for herders.

“The current severe weather is threatening the survival and dignity of thousands of herder families. This life-saving and time critical assistance, will help shield the poorest and most vulnerable from the potentially devastating effects” said Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia.

According to UN estimates, a total of 6.7 million USD is required for supplying humanitarian assistance to dzud affected families.  The CERF grant will cover around 16 percent of the required funds as an initial response.

Head of the National Emergency Management Agency Brigadier General T.Badral thanked the United Nations for its assistance in overcoming the harsh winter in Mongolia. “I hope that this humanitarian assistance will reach the herder households most in need. I’m sure that it will improve their livelihoods,” he said.

The CERF funded interventions, which will focus on expanding ongoing health, nutrition, and protection activities carried out by UN agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA, are expected to begin in February 2017. The UNDP and UNFAO have been assigned with organizing these interventions and closely coordinating them with the activities of the government and other humanitarian partners.

The Humanitarian Country Team hopes to continue advocating for the additional resources and funds necessary for meeting the needs of the most vulnerable households across Mongolia.

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