On June 4 at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Ambassador Piper Campbell and senior officials from USAID, Mercy Corps, and the National Institute of Mongolia — held an official ceremony to launch two disaster risk reduction projects to assist Mongolia in preparation for natural disasters. Ambassador Campbell opened the ceremony by noting, “Disaster risk reduction is a very important aspect of the U.S. Government’s engagement with Mongolia. In the last four years, the U.S. Government, through both USAID/OFDA and the Department of Defense has provided about $3.5 million for projects related to disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance and training in Mongolia.”
Ambassador Campbell thanked the National Emergency Management Agency for collaborating with Mercy Corps and World Vision to help build disaster risk reduction capacity in Mongolia. The two projects are being implemented in partnership with the Mongolian government and local communities to integrate the lessons learned from earlier disaster related work supported by USAID and OFDA. OFDA has committed approximately $585,000 to these projects.
World Vision will cooperate with Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and students and teachers in secondary schools located in active seismic zones to identify disaster risks in their schools and communities, as well as to hone disaster preparation and response plans. Dorana Javier, Operations Director for World Vision, commented, “This new project will enable us to train school teachers and officials on disaster risk reduction and emergency response readiness, which will be a huge help to the schools and communities.”
Mercy Corps, will work with NEMA and with local government officials and herder groups to reduce the risk of dzud in ten aimags in the country by disseminating weather forecasting information and train local communities to improve their capacity to manage risks related to dzud. Jennifer Bielman, Country Director for Mercy Corps, said, “ We look forward to working with herders to not only help better prepare them for potential dzud, but to increase their resiliency and develop more sustainable pastoral management practices.”
Daniel Miller, USAID’s Senior Development Advisor, commented, “USAID is very proud of the accomplishments that have been made so far in building the capacity of Mongolians for disaster risk reduction and looks forward to seeing the results from these new activities.”