|The Management of Nutrition in Major Emergencies (WHO - OMS, 2000, 250 p.)|
|Chapter 1. Meeting nutritional requirements|
In major emergencies, one of the most urgently needed actions to prevent death and illness caused by malnutrition is to ensure adequate provision and intake of food. Basic energy and protein requirements are the primary concern, but micronutrient and other specific nutrient needs must also be met if blindness, disability, and death are to be avoided.
Assessment of the nutritional requirements of the population is a fundamental management tool for calculating food needs, monitoring the adequacy of food access and intake, and ensuring adequate food procurement.
Since the energy and protein requirements of the population are usually unknown to begin with, a mean daily per capita intake of 2100 kcalth and 46 g of protein is recommended (for a developing country profile). Mean daily intakes of micronutrients and other specific nutrients are also recommended in this chapter. Once population and environmental characteristics are known and can be applied, more accurate calculations of population nutrient requirements can be made.
The monitoring of food intakes in the affected community is essential, to enable national authorities both to assess the adequacy of food distribution and to determine when it may be safely decreased and ultimately terminated.