Harsh Mongolian winter risks livelihoods of herder families

AP News
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Posted: Feb 16, 2017 3:58 AM

BEIJING (AP) — The Red Cross says exceptionally cold weather is putting the livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders at risk just one year after another extreme winter killed more than 1 million animals.

Almost half of Mongolia's population of 3 million relies on their livestock for food, transport and income and more than 40,000 cows and other animals have died already this winter. The International Federation of the Red Cross launched an emergency appeal for $650,000 Thursday.

It is the second consecutive year that Mongolia has been struck by a "dzud" (ZOOD), a summer drought followed by a prolonged winter including heavy snow and temperatures of minus 40 to minus 50 Celsius (minus 40 to minus 59 Fahrenheit).

Unique to Mongolia, a dzud typically happens every 12 years.