Cover Image
close this bookCommodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)
close this folderVI. SPECIAL ISSUES
View the document6.1 Common questions
View the document6.2 How much to distribute when numbers are not agreed?
View the document6.3 When you do not have enough to go around
View the document6.4 Trading rations
View the document6.6 Payment in kind
View the document6.7 Retroactive distribution
View the document6.8 Sacks and other empty containers

6.1 Common questions

Q. Should refugees who settle outside camps be eligible for assistance?

A. Generally the refugees living outside camps will be eligible for assistance on the basis of assessed needs. To live outside camps is often in the best interests of the refugees. Distribution outside camps will help the refugees to support themselves and reduce the impetus to congregate in camps. Constraints on distribution outside camps include the difficulty of accessing a scattered population and distinguishing them from the host population.

Q. Should refugees who arrived in earlier influxes be eligible for the same assistance as newcomers?

A. The needs of the new arrivals are often greater than those of the old caseload. However, needs assessment should decide on the level of assistance for each group. Constraints on providing differing levels of assistance include difficulty in distinguishing old from new refugees, undesirability of providing old refugees with a motivation for registering as new.

Q. Should local people, whose lives are disrupted by an influx, be eligible for assistance?

A. The local population is sometimes assisted, based on need, by UNHCR in order to alleviate the impact of a refugee influx.

Q. Should assistance be used to elicit the cooperation of officials, even where it is not really needed?

A. Ideally food and non food assistance should not be used to elicit cooperation of officials.