US helping Mongolians to meet winter emergency challenge

2016-07-26 17:14:24

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The U.S. is providing nearly USD 800,000 in aid to help Mongolians mitigate the effects of the 2015-2016 winter emergency and develop systems to increase disaster preparedness. This new funding is in addition to USD 150,000 in humanitarian assistance provided to support logistics operations and the distribution of critical relief supplies to those affected by the winter emergency and expands ongoing disaster preparedness training with province and county-level officials.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the U.S. Government partners with Mercy Corps to work with communities to recover from the impact of the winter emergency and support the long-term sustainability of herding systems across 15 winter emergency-affected provinces.

The program will improve province and county-level ability to manage risks and lessen the impact of future winter emergencies through disaster risk reduction (DRR) training and the scale-up of a national SMS, or short message-based information-sharing system.

This system, easily accessible by mobile phone, allows herders to access weather forecast data by equipping them with the tools to make informed decisions and develop disaster preparation strategies.

Since 2011, the U.S. has provided approximately USD 2.5 million for DRR programs in Mongolia through USAID/OFDA — including school-based disaster planning to prepare school administrators and students for disasters, as well as incident command system training to help local officials improve disaster response operations.

Winter conditions in Mongolia can be exceptionally harsh and dangerous. The United States is proud to work with its partner Mongolia to help the Mongolian people meet the challenge of any winter emergency, reports the Voice of America.