World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of Mongolian herders face disastrous livestock losses from dreaded severe weather known as the "dzud", the Red Cross said Thursday in launching an international emergency aid appeal.
Landlocked Mongolia is grappling for the second straight year with losses from dzud conditions -- a dry summer followed by bitter winter cold that leaves livestock and other animals at risk of starvation and exposure on the country's rugged steppes.
It threatens tens of thousands of herders in a country where almost half the population depends entirely on livestock for food, transportation and income, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.
Cattle, sheep and other animals usually die en masse in the dzud, weakened by insufficient summer grazing that prevents them building up the fat reserves necessary to withstand winter temperatures, which can plummet as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).
"In spring, animals give birth and when the livestock are already exhausted from the winter they are at high risk without adequate feed, shelter and veterinarian care, which does not exist in some remote areas of the country,” Nordov Bolormaa, secretary-general of the Mongolian Red Cross said in a statement.
As of early February, more than 42,546 livestock animals had already perished in the current dzud, the statement said, citing official Mongolian figures.
"This figure is expected to grow exponentially in the months ahead when a long harsh spring takes hold after the extremely cold winter," the Red Cross said.
It added that more than 157,000 people are "at risk" across 17 of Mongolia’s 21 provinces.
Hundreds of thousands of livestock are reported to have died in the 2015-16 dzud.
The relief organisation hopes to raise enough to assist 11,000 of the hardest-hit households, including provision of cash grants, first-aid kits, and funds to help communities prepare for future dzuds.
During the winter of 2015-16, many people sold off their live animals, causing a market oversupply that depressed prices and hurt many of the most vulnerable small herders, said Gwendolyn Pang of the IFRC in Beijing.
She said "many will lose their livelihoods and will have no choice but to migrate to slum areas" outside the capital Ulan Bator or other urban centres.
A 2009-2010 dzud brought the most severe winter in memory, leaving dead, frozen animal carcasses strewn across pastoral areas.
At least eight million livestock animals died, according to official estimates.
Thousands of Mongolia households lead a nomadic existence as herders amid Mongolia's vast plains and mountains, and recurring dzud conditions are blamed for forcing many into a marginalised urban existence in Ulan Bator.
With the fame and effect to the west on discoveries and creations in medicine, the book of Ibn Sina, “El-Kanun fi't-Tib” was taught in the European medical schools such as Louvain and Montpellier Universities, until the 17th century
Ustaz Emad Abu Khadejih runs a small grocery store at a distance of 2.5 meters from Burak (Wailing) Wall, and 5 meters to al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli government offers for the store 24 million dollars but he strongly refuses. Eyüp Sami Yavaş wrote.
Hajji Sinan’s Tekke is one of the rare tekkes in Bosnia that reached the present day from the 17th century.
Tablets with first writing in Anatolia unearthed from burial mound in central Anatolian province of Kayseri
Chowk, located in heart of Lahore, connects two different cultures in one city
Ankara Park offers a taste of Turkey in South Korea’s sprawling capital
Unveiled by Tunisian president, initiative includes proposed legal changes that scholars say contravene Islamic precepts
Program aims to instill volunteerism, raise awareness of conditions in Africa
Exhibition organized as part of 2017 Medinah Capital of Islamic Tourism activities
Remarkable discovery of Roman district made during excavations
One of the most beautiful cities located in the Balkans is Sarajevo. Built between two mountains, the city has conquered the hearts of the thousands of visitors today as it has done so for centuries with its unique nature, rich history and cultural heritage.
‘I’m standing for Quds, because I am a human’, the campaign says
Head of Jerusalem's Greek Orthodox Church says Christians support protests against recent Al-Aqsa restrictions
One of the oldest towers in the Balkans is rising above Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.
A total of 300,000 tourists are expected to explore the city in the air by the end of 2017
Antique city in Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast attracts tourists with its unique combination of history and nature