Cash-for-Work Carcass Clean-up launched in Mongolia

15 April, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – Herders began the enormous task today of burying millions of livestock carcasses in the three aimags that were severely affected by harsh winter conditions. With support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the herders are now part of a Cash-for-Work programme which provides them with immediate income while also reducing health risks by burying carcasses and preventing water contamination.
With technical assistance of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the herders are removing and burying up to two million livestock carcasses. This accounts for roughly 30 percent of all the animals that perished. Their income in total will be enough to stock flour and rice for three months of consumption for an average household.
“Now that the thaw has begun in Mongolia, the time is right for the herders to begin the carcass clean-up. We want to help small herders and women, who are most dramatically affected by Dzud, in the short term by providing immediate work opportunities, but we also want to work with them in the longer-term to find alternative means of livelihoods,” says Akbar Usmani, UNDP Resident Representative in Mongolia.
The programme is now underway in the most seriously affected three aimags of Uvurkhangai, Dundgobi and Khovd. UNDP in close cooperation with NEMA and local authorities plans to reach 20,000 herders, which is 60 percent of all herder households in the three aimags. Priority will be given to herders with under 200 head of livestock, households headed by women and other vulnerable groups that fall below poverty line.

UNDP attaches importance to transparency and equal participation in the cash-for-work programme. Soum government will announce a list of participants, and also beneficiaries on the Governor’s office board. For the longer term, UNDP will continue to work in three target provinces by providing opportunities to create alternative income sources. These will be based on local needs assessments carried out in collaboration with the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help herders establish and run small businesses.
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