From an e-mail Richard sent to his brothers and sisters, "A severe drought last summer followed by a severe winter has left over 2.2 million livestock dead here in Mongolia with a projection of many more dying before warm weather and summer grasses come in May.
Through Deseret International Charities (DIC), we requested and received disaster relief funds from the Humanitarian Fund and have distributed those funds to help repair broken heating systems in 10 kindergarten-school/dormitory complexes in four aimags (Mongolian states) which house the children of herder families who stay in these school so they can get an education while their families are out on the plains with their herds. DIC is also supplying funds to three other aimags to buy food, fuel, medicines, and sanitary items for the herder families who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
Here in Ulaanbaatar, things are not that bad and you would never know there was a disaster. We have been attending meetings with government agencies, and other international non-governmental organizations like DIC, so we can coordinate DIC's disaster response.
We are doing well ourselves and hope all is well with your families."
The Dzud has turned into a disaster in many of the Aimags in Mongolia. It's really heart-wrenching to see news reports of Mongolian herders surrounded by carcasses of their dead animals and to know that many of the herders are suffering, too. As they lose their animals, they also lose their livelihood and for many of them their traditional way of life.
An NGO acquaintance sent us the following link on YouTube to a recent Sky video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04e_QAztUKU
He also sent us the following updated Zud reference in Wikpedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zud
3 years ago