|Commodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)|
|II. GETTING STARTED|
Agreement on a population figure is essential
A planning figure for the population in need of assistance is essential in order to implement any commodity distribution. Ideally, the number in need of assistance should be known and agreed to by all key partners (government, WFP, NGOs, donors and refugees). It is important that all understand that, while exact population figures will not always be available, the assistance programme must continue for an agreed number of beneficiaries. At the same time, steps should be taken, through registration and monitoring, to improve the accuracy of the population figure. It is critical to the cost-effectiveness and credibility of an assistance programme that the planning figures used for distribution are realistic.
Your distribution strategy should be based on these agreed assumptions, rather than on an ad hoc basis. As the programme develops and more information is available, assumptions will change and distributions will more closely align with the verified needs.
Where a satisfactory registration has not been possible within three months, UNHCR and WFP will jointly determine the number of beneficiaries in need of food assistance. Should there be disagreement between the country offices of UNHCR and WFP on the number of beneficiaries, the problem shall be referred to the headquarters level for resolution. Pending such resolution, WFP will provide food to the number of beneficiaries it estimates are in need of assistance.