Young girls and women fleeing floodwaters queue as they wait to receive food handouts at a makeshift relief camp; Pakistan, 2010. Young girls and women fleeing floodwaters queue as they wait to receive food handouts at a makeshift relief camp; Pakistan, 2010. Photo credit: Asad Zaidi

General Food Distribution in Emergencies

by Susanne Jaspars and Helen YoungDecember 1995

There is a dearth of published information about emergency food distribution programmes. By contrast, there is an abundance of unpublished reports reflecting the experience of agencies involved in food distribution, although much has never been recorded at all.

This review explores what is good practice in emergencies, covering technical principles as well as documenting the guidelines and experiences of agencies in the field. From practical examples of food distribution, the review tries to uncover the theoretical basis of approaches taken and the practical constraints that determine what is actually done and the food ration that beneficiaries actually receive.

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