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Press Release 01/06

FAO: HERDERS IN MONGOLIA DESPERATELY NEED HELP - US$ 8.7 MILLION DISASTER APPEAL LAUNCHED


Rome,19 February -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an appeal for US$ 8.7 million in support of Mongolian herders suffering from the worst winter in more than fifty years. "The country's second disastrous winter and last summer's drought have produced a situation which is almost certain to lead to a catastrophe for many herder families", FAO said in a statement issued today.

About 75,000 herder households and 12.1 million head of livestock are seriously affected by an extremely cold winter, FAO said. With 90 percent of Mongolia under snow, about 17 of the 21 provinces are currently affected by extremely low temperatures. By late January, 600,000 head of livestock were reported dead. This is more than twice the number of deaths compared to the same time last winter.

As the winter progresses, the situation will worsen and the number of livestock deaths will increase exponentially. Current forecasts indicate that up to 6.5 million animals or 20% of the livestock population will perish before the summer. "If the livestock death rate is not reduced, the effects on herder families, who are totally dependant on their livestock, will be catastrophic", FAO said.

FAO's emergency activities are aiming at the reduction of livestock deaths and the impoverishment and suffering of the herder families. Livestock feed for animals highly at risk is therefore urgently needed, according to the UN agency. Funding is also needed to provide targeted farmers until June with livestock shelters, veterinary services, the construction of wells and the distribution of forage.

 

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Get info at: Special Relief Operations Service

For more information please contact FAO Media Officer Erwin Northoff, tel: 0039 06 570 53105/53276
e-mail: erwin.northoff@fao.org


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