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The 5 Principles for Estimating Food and Nutritional Needs in Post-Emergencies

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When identifying post-emergency food and nutritional requirements, the notion of providing aid to emergency-affected communities based on need is well-established. People are most likely to be completely reliant on food aid during the early stages of a catastrophe. However, many afflicted people may become less reliant over time. As a result, the goals of food assistance may shift. In long-term situations, food aid is usually intended to help people maintain their livelihoods. As a result, food assistance in these situations will attempt to supplement the food that the population is able to procure on their own. Estimating food and nutritional needs in the post-emergency phase is therefore more difficult, as it necessitates an examination of the extent to which communities can meet their food demands through their own means. Below are the 5 principles for estimating food and nutritional needs in post-emergencies;

  1. Adoption of a holistic “food security” approach that looks at how all groups within a population get food.

This necessitates consideration of fundamental needs other than food (and the potential trade-off between food and other basic needs), various types of livelihood systems, and the consequences and acceptability of various coping methods employed by the afflicted population.

  1. It is necessary to comprehend the underlying causes that influence food consumption and nutritional status, aside from food availability.

This necessitates consideration of health factors, such as access to health care, as well as caring ability and social behaviors, such as breastfeeding capacity and appropriate complementary feeding practices for infants and young children.

  1. An understanding of the affected population’s social and political context.

This is critical for determining why certain groups are more food insecure than others.

  1. Ongoing surveillance of the food security situation, nutritional status, and factors influencing food access.

Surveillance is required, as well as ad hoc assessments on occasion.

  1. Using participatory approaches and keeping the lines of communication open between agencies and the people who are affected.

This allows for a more thorough examination of the causes of food insecurity.

During the post-emergency period, food and nutritional needs are determined by;

  1. The amount to which the affected people can participate in the local economy.
  2. The success of measures adopted to promote livelihood strategies such as;
  • Rehabilitation of local trade and markets.
  • Distribution of appropriate seed varieties and agricultural tools.
  • Distribution of fishing equipment.
  • Income-generating activities.
  • Distribution of non-food items.

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