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Guiding Principles for Caring for the Nutritionally Vulnerable During Emergencies

The International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, 1992) recognised food, health and care as fundamental components for nutritional well-being. Although this conceptual framework has been widely adopted in addressing nutrition problems worldwide, little progress has been made in applying the care component of this framework to the design, implementation and monitoring of interventions during nutritional emergencies.

Why do some vulnerable groups fare better than others in similar circumstances? To examine care-related and behavioural aspects of nutritional vulnerability during emergencies, and to develop consolidated approaches for identifying, assessing and monitoring these aspects of nutritional vulnerability, WHO and UNHCR organised a joint technical consultation on caring for the nutritionally vulnerable during emergencies (Rome, February 1998).

The consultation provided experts, country representatives, NGOs working in emergencies, and concerned international and bilateral agencies with a forum for exchanging information and experiences. In addition to compiling information on nutritional vulnerability and its contributing factors, the consultation developed guiding principles for caring for the nutritionally vulnerable during emergencies.

As recommended during the consultation, further development of the guiding principles and practical tools for translating them into policy and programmes are under way. A background review document prepared for the consultation (WHO/NHD/99.6) and an annotated bibliography on caring for the nutritionally vulnerable during emergencies (WHO/NHD/99.5) will become available soon.

For more information contact:
Chizuru Nishida
Department of Nutrition for Health & Development (NHD) Sustainable Development & Healthy Environments (SDE) World Health Organisation
Avenue Appia 20
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Telephone: + 41.22.791.3317/3455
Facsimile: + 41.22.791.4156
Email: nishidac@who.int
NHD website: http://www.who.int/nut/

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Reference this page

Guiding Principles for Caring for the Nutritionally Vulnerable During Emergencies. Field Exchange 7, July 1999. p11. www.ennonline.net/fex/7/guiding