Starving Mongolia

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In two months time I expect to be traveling through Siberia and Mongolia.  As I read up on the places I might pass through and what citizen journalism is going on there, I’ve run into the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Mongolia.  Following a summer drought and currently one of the coldest winters the country has ever experienced, cattle are dying by the millions. A source of income and sustenance for 35 to 40% of the Mongolian population, according to the UN, the onslought of starving cattle leaves hundreds of thousands of people in a desperate situation.

Speaking about the situation for children in Mongolia, UNICEF reports that more than 400,000$ is needed in essential medical and humanitarian supplies, in addition to at least 300,000$ in order to reach those living in remote and now isolated regions of the vast country. In total, around 63,000 children are in need of assistance from either the national government or international organizations as a result of this crisis. Temperatures are currently hovering around -40 to -50C and are expected to stay that way into April.

While in Mongolia I will not likely be in any remote regions of the country, but I will still be asking people and putting out content about what I find out in regards to this terrible situation. Thankfully even in a part of the world that doesn’t get much mainstream media attention EVER, there are citizen journalists at work even there.  One great project associated with my friends at Global Voices Online is called Nomad Green (who I hope to meet with in April).  It features voices in both Mongolian and English, writing about these and other developments relating to quality of life in Mongolia.