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news from the Radstock network

Another Winter Crisis?

Posted by Peter Walters on

Reports suggest another crisis, similar to the disastrous winter of 2009-10, is likely to happen in Mongolia this year.

I remember that winter only too well. Up to 16 million herded animals perished, pushing many herding families over the edge. One result was an increase in the population drift to Ulaanbaatar, whose infrastructure could barely cope then, and is struggling even more now.

It is too early to say how bad the situation is likely to be this time round. On December 22nd, the period known locally as the 'Nine Nines,' the 81 coldest days of winter, began, and January is expected to be particularly severe.

The need for short-term international aid is a near certainty. What form that aid takes is important, however. Well-intentioned foreigners and others have often focused on replacing the dead animals. While this may seem a good idea, it just increases the likelihood of future crises, since the pasture cannot support the current number of animals.

Longer-term, there is a need to rebalance Mongolia's economy to make herding more sustainable, and to diversify the skills base. That is where we - and you - can help!  More details here.

Please consider a donation to Seedtime's Christmas Appeal 2012. Your gift can make a big difference to families in need. 

Tags: mongolia


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