Mongolia is affected by erratic and extreme weather events (i.e. drought, late rains, and early onset of extreme winter conditions), environmental degradation and climate change, as well as a deep economic crisis and widespread rural poverty. Mongolia is also prone to other hazards that include earthquakes, floods, fires, all of which have a potential to impact large numbers of Mongolians.
As a result the country struggles with winter-related humanitarian needs as well as a dramatic rural to urban migration, also related to environmental and climate change factors. In December 2016, the National Emergency Commission reported severe winter conditions in 110 districts (soums) of 15 provinces (aimags) and one district of Ulaanbaatar city, many of which experiencing “white dzud” conditions, a harsh winter condition resulting from heavy snow fall and impossibility of livestock to access edible mass. After the Government appealed for humanitarian assistance, Mongolia accessed CERF funding (USD 1.1 million, February 2017). Livestock are critical to herder families’ survival and livelihood. Animals are often the only source of food, transport, heating materials, and purchasing power. Out of a total of 37,000 herder households living in the affected soums, an estimated 8,000 herder households were identified as the most vulnerable, 3,500 of these are planned to be assisted through CERF. The Humanitarian Country Team-led response aims to strengthen herder families’ coping capacity by providing targeted assistance in the following sectors: health, protection, nutrition, agriculture, early recovery.
Continuing climate change is expected to lead to intensified drought and aridity, continuing glacial retreat, and an increase in the frequency and the extent of climate related disasters such as dzud. All of these factors are likely to impact on future migration patterns. There is a need for ongoing data collection; information on the location and needs of migrants and migration affected communities; including an impact assessment of out-migration on regional townships; and good projections of future migration trends, to inform evidence based policy and planning. In addition, there are six active faults around Ulaanbaatar according to the Department of Seismology. On the same line lies some of the most populated and constructed areas of the city and approximately 70 per cent of the capital city buildings in Ulaanbaatar are identified as vulnerable to earthquakes including major hospitals, schools, power plants and other essential infrastructures.Mongolia's harsh winter conditions create challenges in any response operations (including search and rescue) but especially in providing temporary shelter for people who lost their housing due to e.g. a local fire or major disaster such as an earthquake. The `Mongolian National progress report on the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2013-2015)' found that methodologies to develop disaster preparedness / contingency plans, policy and program need to be improved and local authorities need to learn from international experience.
In 2017, IOM with partners aims to strengthen local and national response capacities to support vulnerable urban population in case of disasters by strengthening the national coordination mechanisms and ensure timely and well planned response to large scale disasters. IOM also aims to support the government of Mongolia and other actors to prevent natural disaster and climate change forced migration where possible, plan proactively for future climate change and disaster-induced migration, and provide direct support to vulnerable migrants in the Ger districts of Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan city.
Note: IOM has included interventions that are in line with IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework and country strategy to address migration issues and initiate development-principled programming to establish the foundations for longer-term recovery to complement its humanitarian programmes.
 According to Government Res. 286, ‘white dzud’ is characterised by conditions of snow density reaching 0.25 g/c.cm or more regardless of climatic zones, the average air temperature of ten days and a month is below the many years average by 3.0C or more, or exceeding the average deviation squared and the average thickness of the snow cover exceeds 25 cm in alpine and forest steppe zones, 22 cm in steppe zones and 12 cm in desert and semi-desert zones;
Overall Targeted Beneficiaries: 200 officials and 6,500 vulnerable migrants
Contact Information: Mr. Pär Liljert, Chief of Mission, email@example.com, Ms. Oyunbileg Rentsendorj, National Programme Officer firstname.lastname@example.org, Ms. Emanuela Muscarà, Programme Officer. Website: www.iom.int/mongolia
IOM Offices: Country Office: Ulaanbaatar
International Staff: 2
National Staff: 5
- In April 2016 IOM delivered a CCCM session related to earthquake response to over 100 participants from 30 governmental, non-governmental, municipal and military agencies from Mongolia, the U.S. and international relief agencies, including the U.S. Army Pacific, Mongolian Ministry of Defense, the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency.