Cover Image
close this bookCommodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPurpose of this guide and how to use it
View the documentGlossary
View the documentKey Points
close this folderI. Overview
View the document1.1 Definition of distribution
View the document1.3 Food and non-food items
View the document1.4 Programme planning questions
close this folderII. GETTING STARTED
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3 Beneficiary ration/registration cards/kits4
View the document2.4 By whom
View the document2.5 Where - How many distribution points, their location
View the document2.7 Equipment for distribution
close this folderIII. HOW TO CHOOSE AND SET UP A SYSTEM
View the document3.1 The framework - an overview
View the document3.2 Advantages and disadvantages of the three categories of distribution
View the document3.3 Choosing the system
View the document3.5 How to distribute through groups of heads of families (one method)
View the document3.6 How to distribute through individual heads of family (three methods)
close this folderIV. INVOLVING THOSE CONCERNED
View the document4.1 Refugee participation
View the document4.2 The leadership may not truly represent the refugees
View the document4.3 Refugee committees
View the document4.5 Information to all the beneficiaries, the crucial factor
View the documentV. MANAGEMENT
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
close this folderAnnex 1 - Reporting on Food Distribution
View the document1. Food Distribution Monitoring Report (Food 1)
close this folderAnnex 2 - Reporting on Non-Food Items Distribution
View the document1. Non-Food Item Distribution Report (NFI. 1)
close this folderAnnex 3 - Reporting on Food Distribution
View the documentWorksheet for on Site Food Distribution Monitoring Report
View the documentExplanatory Notes
View the documentAnnex 4 - Household Monitoring Report
close this folderAnnex 5 - Post Distribution Monitoring
View the documentMarket Survey Report Form
View the documentAnnex 6 - Bibliography

6.8 Sacks and other empty containers

Beneficiaries are often allowed to keep empty food containers and sacks. For the first distribution following an influx, these containers may be the only way for the refugees to carry and store the commodities. Where rations are distributed in bulk (not scooped), it would in any event be impractical to retrieve them. Empty containers are often used as shelter material or as cooking pots etc. They can be sold to provide valuable extra support to the family. The costs of collection and storage of empty containers can be significant. It is useful however to maintain a stock of empty sacks and containers which can be used for re-bagging when food containers are damaged.

In cases where WFP wishes to retrieve empty food containers, responsibility for this rests with WFP, who will pay for their collection, storage and transportation. Collection of empty containers is normally only possible when they have been retained at the distribution point, and the commodities distributed without containers to the refuges. Where containers have already been distributed with the ration, it is usually impractical or causes too much resentment, to retrieve them.

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