Menu ENN Search

Postscript to 'Reconstruction in Bosnia'

We asked Alberteen Van der Veen who has recently been working in the region on behalf of ECHO to comment on this article and where appropriate update information.

In 1996, nearly 60% of all households in B&H were receiving humanitarian food. By January 1997, this figure had decreased, but an impressive 45% of the population was still included in free food distributions. WFP's strategy to distinguish between vulnerable (priority I) and 'at risk beneficiaries (priority 2) never fully materialised as planned. Initially, screening of beneficiary lists was foreseen for 1996, with the aim of reducing the case-load to 600 000 'priority I' beneficiaries and one million 'priority 2' beneficiaries by the beginning of 1997. Due to various problems most of which are described in the related field article - this process was much slower than planned. Screening took, in fact, until October 1997, by which time all priority 2 beneficiaries were phased out. By the end of 1997, WFP and NGO's together were providing food assistance to 800 000 'priority I' beneficiaries. NGO's funded by ECHO are complementing WFP by providing food parcels containing oil, sugar pasta and! or rice to the most vulnerable. About 40% of the WFP caseload is receiving such parcels -especially useful in case of breaks in the pipeline. Some 60 000 people are receiving parcels only. At present, NGO's and WFP are comparing and integrating beneficiary lists. NGO's funded by USAID have taken over from WFP distribution to certain groups, i.e., the elderly and municipalities. During 1998, humanitarian food assistance will further decrease.

ECHO's household food security survey concludes that 87% of all households are food secure, that is they are able to maintain an adequate diet without humanitarian assistance. Households which consume an adequate diet, but do not have a household budget sufficient to purchase a minimum food basket and thus depend on humanitarian food, account for 7%. These households can be considered potentially food insecure. Some 6% are food vulnerable in the sense they do not have the capacity to maintain an adequate diet. More than half of these were receiving humanitarian food, but not in adequate quantities. In fact, vulnerable and food secure households were on average receiving identical quantities of wheat-flour, oil and sugar. However, the former were twice as likely to receive humanitarian food assistance. These findings demonstrate that:

The question is whether further scaling down and phasing out will have consequences for household food security. Food insecurity in B&H today is closely linked to poverty. For example, elderly people living without other family members are three times as likely to be food vulnerable than the population as a whole. This is no surprise in view of low and irregular pension. Households with no income from work at all are also extremely vulnerable. If all humanitarian food assistance were to cease in 1998, food security would indeed be an issue for these households. This does not imply however, that humanitarian food assistance should continue. On the contrary, given that people pay for practically everything else; water, electricity, medical services, the solution is not to give free food which is expensive and not cost-effective, but to improve the income situation. For the nearly 20% of the population solely relying on a pension with no realistic prospect of ever being employed the solution is to raise pensions. This is what this sector are entitled to and should be given without delay. The money is there, huge amounts are accumulating instead of being paid due to managerial and political problems. For the unemployed, currently 12% , the creation of employment opportunities and the establishment of a social welfare system are indicated. Donors can, and are, using their position to urge the national authorities to make progress on these issues. The gradual phasing out of humanitarian (food) assistance indicates that these income related interventions are now a priority. In the meantime donors should continue to fund comprehensive programs which target the truly destitute. Such programs should not only contain a food component but coyer other essential needs (medical, housing, energy) as well.

View the article that this postscript relates to

More like this

FEX: WFP e-voucher programme in Lebanon

By Ekram Mustafa El-Huni Ekram Mustafa El-Huni is WFP's Head of Programmes in Beirut, Lebanon. She has worked in a variety of roles with WFP at the headquarters, regional...

FEX: Experiences of the e-Food card programme in the Turkish refugee camps

By Kathleen Inglis and Jennifer Vargas Kathleen Inglis currently works with the WFP as the Programme Communications Officer. She has worked in humanitarian aid in various...

FEX: Comparing cash and food transfers: findings from a pilot project in Sri Lanka

By Lili Mohiddin (Oxfam GB), Manohar Sharma (IFPRI), Anette Haller (WFP Rome) Lili Mohiddin, Manohar Sharma & Anette Haller Lili Mohiddin has been an Emergency Food Security...

FEX: Impact evaluation of a cash-transfer programme for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

By Christian Lehmann and Daniel T. R. Masterson Daniel Masterson is a PhD student in Political Science at Yale University. Daniel worked for UNHCR in Syria in 2007 and 2008....

FEX: Donor lessons on linking emergency and development funding in urban programming

Summary of article1 Food Insecurity Lessons in Kenya Location: urban Kenya What we know: The urban population in Kenya is disproportionately affected by food insecurity...

FEX: WFP intervention in Bosnia Herzegovina '92 - '97

An internal evaluation In Field Exchange Issue III a field article described the current situation in Bosnia and the reconstruction process, drawing out implications for food...

en-net: Seeking a Consultant to undertake a Baseline Livelihood Vulnerability Analysis of Refugee camps along the Thailand- Burma border

Terms of Reference Baseline Livelihood Vulnerability Analysis of Refugee camps along the Thailand- Burma border Camps and population (September 2010 data): Site 1 (15,339),...

FEX: IRC cash and livelihoods support programme in Lebanon

By Francesca Battistin Francesca Battistin leads the International Rescue Committee (IRC) cash assistance and livelihoods recovery interventions in Lebanon. She has a...

FEX: WFP HIV/AIDS Programming in Malawi

By Jeremy Shoham, ENN Households headed by the elderly may be vulnerable This article was written based on a WFP consultation to Malawi in February 2005. The WFP Malawi...

FEX: Summary of the Oxfam Review of Bangladesh flood response

Food Distribution in Bangladesh '98 Between July and October last year Bangladesh suffered severe flooding regarded as the worst in living memory: two-thirds of Bangladesh was...

FEX: Cash voucher programme and rabbit raising intervention in Gaza

By Elena Qleibo, Ena’am Abu Nada, Wassem Mushtaha and Julie Campbell Elena Qleibo is the Oxfam Food Security Coordinator for the Gaza programme. She has been working in...

NEX: Community kitchens in Lebanon: Cooking together for health

Joyce Barakat is the Food Security Programme Coordinator at International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Lebanon. She has a BSc in Biology and Premedical Studies from...

FEX: Impact evaluation of the Lebanon multipurpose cash assistance programme

Summary of evaluation1 Location: Lebanon What we know: Cash assistance is increasingly used in humanitarian response to complement in-kind assistance. What this article...

FEX: Aid effectiveness and Vulnerability Assessment Framework: determining vulnerability among Syrian refugees in Jordan

By Hisham Khogali, Lynette Larsen, Kate Washington and Yara Romariz Maasri Hisham Khogali is an independent consultant with 19 years of experience in a range of humanitarian...

FEX: Meeting Point : Local CBO in Uganda

By Fiona Mitchell, GOAL, and Mary Corbett, ENN A Meeting Point staff member with a young child Fiona Mitchell is the Development Programme Coordinator, GOAL Uganda The...

FEX: Extending support through CMAM to older people in Ethiopia

By Kidist Negash Weldeyohannis View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Kidist Negash Weldeyohannis is a Regional Health and Nutrition Programme...

FEX: Nutrition security emergency programming in diverse urban contexts

By Marie Sardier, Joanna Friedman, Maureen Gallagher and Julien Jacob Marie Sardier is Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor with Action contre la Faim (ACF) in Paris...

FEX: NRC shelter programme in Lebanon

By the Norwegian Refugee Council, Lebanon and Jordan This article represents the combined efforts of many members of the NRC teams both in Lebanon and Jordan. The arrival of...

FEX: WFP’s emergency programme in Syria

By Rasmus Egendal and Adeyinka Badejo Rasmus Egendal has more than 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian aid assistance. Currently he is serving...

FEX: Joint Emergency Operation Plan NGO response to emergency food needs in Ethiopia

By Alix Carter Alix Carter has worked in the humanitarian sector in Ethiopia for almost three years. She is currently working as the Humanitarian Accountability Advisor at...

Close

Reference this page

Alberteen Van der Veen (1998). Postscript to 'Reconstruction in Bosnia'. Field Exchange 3, January 1998. p24. www.ennonline.net/fex/3/postscript3

(ENN_3310)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.