Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update on DIC's Dzud Emergency Relief

Thousands of herder families are still experiencing the slow-moving disaster of the Dzud disaster in Mongolia.  Many are weak, exhaussted and faced with insufficient food and fuel supplies.  They are rapidly losing their livelihood because of mounting losses of their livestock and newborn animals.  Reports indicate the worst is yet to come as millions of animals will die, mostly in the spring, because the livestock are already weak and there is no fodder left.  And because it will still be many weeks before temperatures will warm the ground enough for grass to grow for their livestock.

A report by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization states that now the only means of generating cash for most herder families is to bring the dead carcasses into their homes, warm them up, remove the skin and sell the skin for approximately 50 US cents each.  Many are moving their few remaining livestock into their gers with their families to keep them warm.

Deseret International Charities donated about $50,000 for food, medicine, matches, clothing, candles, fuel, and sanitary items to three of aimags (provinces) and to the Ministry Education to help fix heating systems of school/dormatories for the herders' children.  DIC has received back some detailed reports on how the assistance was administered, who received the assistance, and photographs showing the aid being delivered.  The following are photos of assistance are from reports sent in by Uuvs and Khovd  aimags (provinces).  DIC also received letters of gratitude from each province and a request for more assistance to help the herder families and their animals through the rest of the winter.  

Much of the world is already experiencing wonderful spring time, but spring and growing grass will not come to the people of Mongolia for at least another month or two.  Also there are some areas where there is no snow, but the people there are experiencing a "black dzud." There nothing is growing because of cold temperatures and the drought.  

The Mongolian government continues to appeal for donations for:  food, fuel, medicine, clothing, fodder for the animals, and other basic needs.  Deseret International Charities (sponsored by donations from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints world wide) has received additional requests for assistance from seven aimags  (provinces) and has just requested another relief package to help the herders who are still in dire need.  Our office in Ulaanbaatar just sent this request off to the Asian Area Office, so we don't know yet how much will be approved, but if it is approved, it will be a sizable donation. 


  1. Makes me cry to see these wonderful people in such dire straits. I can't imagine having to bring the dead animals into their gers to skin them to save 50 cents. It is such a tragic event for them. love to you. MOM

  2. Oh, Carol and Richard, what a tragedy! Did you take these pictures?
    They tell such a heartbreaking story. You are blessings to these sweet people. Love you so much! Lana

  3. Hi, Lana,
    We didn't take these photos. They were sent to us in reports from the affected aimags that DIC donated to. It's really sad, but I love the one of the lady and her camel. Thanks for your love!