Cover Image
close this bookCARE Food Manual (CARE , 1998, 355 p.)
close this folderChapter 1 - Programming Food Resources
close this folderII. Interventions
close this folderB. Policies and Procedures
View the document1. When to Use Food Resources
View the document2. CARE's Food Programming Principles
View the document3. Objectives for the Use of Food Resources
View the document4. Constraints on Using Food Resources

1. When to Use Food Resources

In some natural disasters such as an earthquake or flooding, where food production and/or stocks may have been disrupted, resources may be sufficient for a short period. For areas with minimal or no productive capacity, few alternative income generating activities, a depleted natural resource base or high levels of malnutrition, longer-term use of food may be required.

Long-term use of food can be targeted for vulnerable, chronically food-insecure groups, such as female-headed households or children. All long-term projects should incorporate agriculture, health, agro-forestry or income-generating interventions into their programming strategies.

Development of household livelihood security (food security) interventions may or may not require the use of imported food resources.

Consider the following scenarios:

· A minor disruption occurs in food stocks, crops, or marketing systems. If communities and households are able to draw on their savings, food reserves or other sources of assistance or income, no food assistance is needed.

· Due to a natural disaster or civil disturbance, food stocks are lost, normal food supply/marketing systems are disrupted, and/or food crops are damaged. Short-term food assistance is needed. The duration may be as brief as a few days or as long as until the next harvest.

· The opportunity to return to food self-reliance is deferred over a long period. This includes successive crop failures and situations involving refugees or displaced persons. The initial health/nutritional status of the population, their possibilities to grow food and/or engage in other income-generating activities, and the policies of the government will determine the length of the transition from relief to self-sufficiency. Long-term food assistance may be required.

Food resources should only be allocated after a thorough needs analysis of a target population and area. The analysis should include a close examination of food production, supply, and marketing systems in the area and outside. Food aid may disrupt local markets in the distribution area and also negatively influence markets in surrounding regions. Analysis should also project what effect there could be when the project is terminated.