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Issue 08 Editorial

Dear Readers,

Land-mark dates like a new millennium often make us think about the past as well as the future. Field Exchange 8 is also in reflective mood and includes a specially written article that re-visits some of the worst man-made famines of the last hundred years. This piece, which was mainly written by Fiona Watson, is based on eye-witness accounts and contains harrowing and emotive snap-shots of European, Asian and African famines spanning the entire century.

This last Field Exchange of the millennium is also a special focus edition. Recent emergencies in southern Sudan, Angola and Kosovo have once again raised the practical and political difficulties of targeting food aid to the forefront of humanitarian agency agendas. Field Exchange 8 carries a special focus editorial on targeting as well as summaries of two recent studies on targeting emergency food aid in eastern Africa. There is also a study on using coping strategy information as a proxy for identifying food insecure households in Greater Accra, Ghana. UNHCR has contributed an article about working through local implementing partners during the Kosovo crisis. The piece describes and examines the targeting strategies used to reach the most needy returnees with food aid following repatriation from the camps. A list of key references on targeting has been included at the end of the newsletter.

Other field articles include one written by Pippa Coutts on the development of a food information system by SCF in Darfur, West Sudan and the critical importance of understanding the local economy in order to monitor food security through this system. Pippa Howell of Action Aid has contributed an article 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' about issues arising from working as a World Food Programme (WFP) implementing partner with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Western Uganda. The article describes the tensions that arise due to conflicting community expectations and donor policies and culminates in suggestions as to how to reduce points of conflict between different stakeholders. Laura Phelps and Caroline Wilkinson have written an article describing the poor infant feeding practices in Kosovo and Macedonia, many of which pre-dated the recent emergency, and highlighting the potential for further deterioration during the emergency.

There are two emergency programme evaluations included in this Field Exchange. One is a review of the Oxfam response to floods in Bangladesh in 1998 and the other is an evaluation of the ACF implemented selective feeding programme in Burundi in 1998.

The ENN team hopes to be out and about in 'the field' in the new year. Hopefully, we will meet some of you and encourage contributions on a range of subjects. Thanks to all of you for your involvement with the ENN and please continue to write in with letters, articles and any ideas for special focus editions.

In the meantime all the very best and happy New Year to you.

Editors,
Fiona O'Reilly
Jeremy Shoham

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Fiona O’Reilly and Jeremy Shoham (1999). Issue 08 Editorial. Field Exchange 8, November 1999. p1. www.ennonline.net/fex/8/fromtheeditor

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