“Temperatures of up to -40 degrees"

Small Mongolian girl with a lamb on her lap.
Photo: Benjamin Suomela / IFRC

Mongolia is the target country of one of the longest-running clothing aid projects of the Finnish Red Cross.

In the sparsely populated rural areas of Mongolia, nomadic pastoralism is the main livelihood.

The country has long been gripped by exceptionally extreme weather: the so-called dzud winter takes place when a dry summer followed by freezing weather makes grazing impossible. The freezing temperatures can drop down to -40 degrees.

Thousands of nomad families have been forced to move into cities, most to the slums of Ulaanbaatar.

Clothing donations for great need

Finnish winter clothes are particularly popular, since they are undamaged and suitable for cold conditions.

Volunteers of the local Red Cross take the clothing aid directly to the people in need.

The Red Cross provides usable everyday clothes to international clothing aid. The quality requirements for clothing aid are strict, since there is no opportunity to wash or repair clothes in crisis areas.

Clothing aid is primarily requested from countries where the Red Cross already has operations, and aid only entails distributing the clothing directly to those in need. The local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society coordinates the aid in the target country.

Clothes intended for international aid must be usable in different conditions. Safety issues must also be taken into account: The Red Cross never sends out clothes with religious or political symbols. Each item of clothing is important to the recipient, which is why we are strict with their quality.

Clothing and goods donations to the Finnish Red Cross
Clothing and goods donations to the Finnish Red Cross