U.S. Government Supports Disaster Risk Reduction in Mongolia

The U.S. Government is partnering with Mercy Corps and World Vision to help disaster responders and communities in Mongolia better prepare for dzuds, earthquakes, fires, and other disaster events.

The U.S. Government, through USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), is providing approximately $580,000 to the two non-governmental organizations to implement programs focusing on increasing school-based resilience to disasters and improving rural herders’ access to weather and pasture information that can enable them to better anticipate and respond to severe weather conditions.

With approximately $300,000 in USAID/OFDA funding, World Vision will work with the Government of Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and students and teachers in provincial secondary schools in Khuvsgul and Erdenet aimags and Songino-Khairkhan and Bayanzurkh districts in Ulaanbaatar—areas in an active seismic zone and vulnerable to other disasters—to help them better identify disaster risks in their schools and communities and develop appropriate plans to better prepare for and respond to potential hazards. The 18-month program will also train school teachers and officials on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and emergency response readiness, develop or contextualize DRR education and learning materials, raise awareness on disaster preparedness within schools and communities, convene school drills tailored to the hazards in each area, and provide schools with emergency response materials, such as first-aid kits and fire suppression tools.

With more than $278,000 in USAID/OFDA funding, Mercy Corps will work with NEMA, local government officials, and communities and herder groups to reduce the risk of dzud in 69 particularly at-risk soums in 10 aimags.  The 12-month program will increase dissemination of weather forecasting information through an extensive training program on DRR to increase local communities’ capacity to successfully manage risks and improve their outcomes when dzuds occur.  Working with local partners, the program will also take to scale a national SMS-based information system to improve herders’ access to weather forecast data so that herding communities are able to not only better prepare for and respond to potential dzuds, but also increase their options for creating more resilient and sustainable pastoral management strategies.

The U.S. Government, through USAID/OFDA, has provided approximately $1.5 million for DRR programs in Mongolia since Fiscal Year 2011.  Other USAID/OFDA-funded programs currently ongoing in Mongolia include training on the incident command system (ICS) through the U.S. Forest Service.  ICS is the U.S. Government’s management framework for integrating personnel, equipment, procedures, facilities, and communications during emergencies, enabling more effective response operations.