|Guidelines for Estimating Food and Nutritional Needs in Emergencies (UNHCR, 1997, 10 p.)|
14. It is essential to establish a system that allows rapid planning and response to the food and nutritional requirements of the affected population. An in-depth assessment is often not possible in the early days of an emergency and the necessary information is usually available only once the emergency situation has stabilised.
15. Therefore, in the first stages of an emergency situation, the average estimated per capita energy requirement of 2,100 kilocalories will be used to expedite decisions about the immediate initial provision of food. As soon as some demographic and food security information can be collected, the calculation for the amount of food aid required should be adjusted accordingly.
16. In situations where it is evident from the start of an emergency that the food requirement will be different from the initial reference value of 2,100 kilocalories, there is flexibility to adopt a more appropriate figure for planning the food requirement; for instance, reduced requirements can be expected for situations in which access to food or income has been maintained. Larger requirements can be expected when the environmental temperature is considerably below the reference temperature of 20°C without adequate protection for the population (provision of shelter and clothing), or when the activity level is more than light (see Annex II).