Climate change effects prompt support to Mongolia, Somalia

Climate change has hit places like Mongolia and Somalia, and IFAW sent funds to pay for nutritional supplements to keep animals alive.The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently provided emergency assistance to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable animals in two of the world’s countries hit hardest by climate change, Mongolia and Somalia.  Hot summers followed by extreme winter temperatures have caused devastating winter storms, or dzuds, and ravaged animal populations in Mongolia. In Somalia’s Somaliland, famine is raging as farms dry up from the ongoing drought.

These environmental conditions have a widespread impact across the landscapes, affecting wildlife and domestic animals, as well as the human communities in the regions.

Supplies were sent to Mongolia for animals in desperate need of nutrition.

IFAW has provided emergency funds to save livestock in these two countries. Our partner, Cambridge Mongolia Development Appeal (CAMDA) sent a report from the frontline saying mineral blocks and cow milk replacer were distributed to animals in desperate need of nutrition. Calves born soon after the dzud are at risk of starving because their mothers are unable to produce milk.

IFAW and other groups distributed hay and wheat bran to local beneficiaries.

Similarly, Veterinaires Sans Frontiers Germany (VSF-G), Somaliland Veterinary Association (SOVA), Ministry of Livestock and local authorities collaborated with IFAW to distribute hay and wheat bran to animals with critical needs of nutritional support. Around 4,000 kg of hay have already been distributed to those who care for the livestock. More distributions will follow in the coming weeks.

In the natural disaster field we are adjusting what we consider ‘normal’ because of the immediate and long-term effects of climate change. In recent years we have come to frequently use the descriptor ‘extreme’ when talking about disasters around the world.  At what point do we accept that the new normal is an extreme version of that which we have known? The dzuds of Mongolia and droughts of Somaliland are only two of the thousands of examples we see where animals and people are caught in the debilitating cycle of extreme weather.

As with any IFAW Disaster Response work, we are proud to collaborate with local partners who share our vision of reducing the risks posed to all animals by ‘the new normal’ by preparing for the unthinkable. We lead by example, one rescue at a time.

--SW

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