Dzud is a cyclical slow onset disaster unique to Mongolia. A dzud consists of multiple disasters: a summer drought, resulting in insufficient production of pasture, followed by an extreme snowy winter (10-350 cm), winds and lower than normal temperatures (-40 to -50 Celsius) during which livestock grazing is impossible. Although primarily affecting livestock, dzud have profound and far reaching impacts on the people and communities who depend on this vital sector for food and income on short, medium and long term. It causes devastating impacts on the lives of the affected and future resilience.
Goal of the dzud repsonse project: The main goal of the dzud response project is to provide life saving food interventions to vulnerable 600 herder families severely affected by dzud disaster in 8 soums of Bayanhongor. The intervention has provided two months’ supply of emergency food aid to most vulnerable herder households.
The geographical target area for this project is Bayankhongor and it has continued to rank lowest of all regions in Mongolia in terms of living standards and employment. Bayankhongor is one of the 21 aimags (provinces ) of Mongolia, located in the west of the country.
The province has a population of 82,884, of which 22,127 live in the capital of Bayankhongor province. The rural area is divided into 20 administrative units called soums (districts). The soums have an average population of approximate 2,500, with a majority of those scattered across the countryside tending their herds. Bayankhongor is situated approximately 630 km in the west of Ulaanbaatar. The consecutive dzuds of the early 1999-2000 and 2009-2010 devastated Bayankhongor’s livestock and economy greatly. Previous dzud events demonstrate the need for early action to reduce the loss of life and human suffering. As of March 10, 2016 until May about 40,279 animals died from dzud due to lack of feeding and it is expected since the reserves of hay/fodder ran out.
ADRA Mongolia has been delivering life-saving food to 600 most vulnerable (households) HHs in target areas. The food has been contributing to nutrition enhancement to ensure food security of the affected HHs and prevent particularly vulnerable boys and girls, and pregnant and lactating women to become sick from micronutrient deficiencies and to mitigate the risks of deterioration of their nutritional status and the risk of developing other forms of malnutrition.