|Commodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)|
|II. GETTING STARTED|
4 See Registration - a practical guide for field staff, UNHCR Geneva 1994 and MOU UNHCR/WFP 1997
Ration cards are a key tool in the provision of assistance. However, in new situations, particularly in emergency situations, you may need to begin distributions before ration cards have been issued. Registration and issue of ration cards requires considerable resources of time, people and security.
¨ Registration establishes an agreed number of beneficiaries.
¨ Registration also provides the profile of the refugee population, making it easier to target special groups.
¨ Ration cards identify the beneficiaries and make monitoring and control easier.
The use of standard UNHCR registration software (Field Based Registration System - FBARS) makes it easy to produce printed lists and cards from registration data.
Obtaining registration/ration cards
Standard UNHCR Registration cards, which can also be used as ration cards, are contained in UNHCR registration kits. Each kit contains all the items (wristbands, forms, tokens, cards, etc.) needed for registration of 30,000 people (10,000 families). The kit includes 10,000 temporary ration/registration cards and 10,000 permanent ration/registration cards. (1 card per family). If the whole kit is not needed, registration cards, and/or other specific items, can be ordered separately. It takes the supplier in Geneva 17 working days to produce and deliver these separate orders. So add transportation time from Geneva to your location to estimate how long a separate order might take to arrive.
How to obtain registration kits
Registration kits are stockpiled at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva by GSS. Requests for kits should be addressed to the Desk, while the Food and Statistical Unit of PCS authorises their deployment. GSS deploy the kits on the basis of a purchase authorisation (PA) raised by the Desk.
Each kit comes in two boxes measuring 112 × 52 × 53 cm each and weighing a total of 400 kg per complete kit of two boxes. Each kit costs US$ 9,000 (in mid-1997) and the cost of the kit, plus transportation, usually by air, must be charged to the relevant operational project; provision must be made in your budget for this.
How to use the registration cards as ration cards
Both the temporary registration card and the permanent registration card from the kit have been designed for distribution purposes. They both have numbers printed around the edge which should be punched to record each distribution. A block of numbers in the middle of the card should be punched to indicate family size. Numbers 1 through 30 should be used to record food distributions and 31 through 36 for non-food items. See the instructions with the kit and the registration guide.