TABLE 2-1 The Population Distribution from Two Reports Providing Demographic Information used to Determine Nutritional Needs for Disaster Responses

Sub-Saharan Africaa

The Sphere Projectb

Age Group (yr)

% of Population

Age Group (yr)

% of Population

0–3

10

0–4

12

4–6

7

5–9

11

7–9

7

10–14

11

10–17

17

15–19

9

18–60

48

20–59

49

> 60

7

60+

7

 

Pregnant

2

 

Lactating

3

 

Male/female

51/49

a Jamison and Hobbs (1994).

b Sphere Project (2001).

INTRODUCTION

The nutritional advantages of a single EFP as opposed to two or more products are evident. Providing a limited selection of commodity-type foods may increase the risk of malnutrition because nutritional components that are found in only one of the foods (e.g., ascorbic acid) may be absent from the diet if that food is not selected. Under emergency conditions, diets are invariably highly monotonous, and often relief foods quickly become a medium of exchange and are commonly sold or traded for other foods, water, firewood, alcohol, and a variety of other goods and services. If a nutritionally complete food ration is divided among two or more different foods, or if foods are targeted to specific individuals such as children or pregnant women, then certain foods are more likely to be exchanged. This type of exchange can deprive the population of a portion of the profile of nutrients provided by the emergency food ration and increase the risk of malnutrition. Providing a single ration product would reduce this risk.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TARGET POPULATIONS

Characteristics of potential target populations were considered in determining the nutrient composition of the EFP. As shown in Table 2-1, some target populations may have as much as 23 percent of the population below 10 years of age and 12 to 17 percent below 5 years of age (Jamison and Hobbs, 1994; Sphere Project, 2001). Refugee groups fleeing from military conflicts may have



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement