Severe winter conditions in Mongolia, known as Dzud, are threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders in eastern and northern parts of the country. Dzud is caused by the twin impacts of drought in the summer, resulting in insufficient grass in pastures and low production of hay, and harsh conditions in the winter, including heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures.

Nandinerdene Batbold (5) playing with the her familys’ sheep in Khuvsgul province, northern Mongolia, 13 February, 2017. During the last two years, the family has lost 60 out of their 80 animals. Photo: Benjamin Suomela/Finnish Red Cross

Mongolian herder Munkhbat Bazarragchaa (48) holding a young goat too weak to walk in front of his Ger in Khuvsgul province, northern Mongolia, 12 February, 2017. Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC

Munkhbat Bazarragchaa: “I have only around 60 animals left. Most of them are already very weak and exhausted. If the cold weather continues in the coming months, when the sheep and goats are giving birth and are very vulnerable, I’m afraid I will lose all of them.” Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC

The family has received food and relief items from the Red Cross and is eligible for a cash grant to be used to purchase food, clothing, fodder for their livestock, or for any other priority they see fit. Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC

Mongolian herder Uranchimeg Terbish receives food and relief items from the Mongolian Red Cross in front of her dead cattle in Khuvsgul province, northern Mongolia, 13 February, 2017. Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC

Oyunjargal Munkhjargal (27) helping a newborn lamb to suck milk in Khuvsgul province, northern Mongolia. Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC

Mongolian herder Oyunjargal Munkhjargal’s daughter Nandinerdene in Khuvsgul province, northern Mongolia, 13 February, 2017. During the last two years, the family has lost 60 out of their 80 animals. Photo: Mirva Helenius / IFRC