Menu ENN Search

Summary of the Meeting of the Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies

by Annalies Borrel

The 26th ACC/SCN meeting was held from the 8th to 15th of April in Geneva. The Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies, made up of NGO, bilateral and UN agency members and some members of the AGN, met to discuss nutritional issues in emergencies on Sunday April 11th. Two of the agenda items were the evolution of nutrition responses in emergencies since 1976 and the impact of the recent crisis in Southern Sudan on adolescents and adults.

Dr. Mike Toole (Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Australia) gave an overview of the trends in nutrition assistance programmes in emergencies between 1976 and 1999. Dr. Toole prefaced his presentation by saying that although the quality of nutritional assistance has improved considerably in the last two decades, some problems still persist such as the continuing outbreaks of micro nutrients deficiency disorders. Furthermore, the rapidly changing geopolitical context had raised new challenges in the provision of adequate food aid.

Key milestones in nutritional assistance in emergencies were identified and summarised.

These included the following:

Some unresolved issues which urgently need to be addressed were summarised as: assessment and management of acute malnutrition in adolescents and adults; prevention of vitamin C deficiency in large African food aid dependent populations and the management of anaemia among severely malnourished children.

Dr. Peter Salama (Medical co-ordinator for emergencies, Concern Worldwide) presented background information and a case study to highlight the ongoing lack of attention to adult and adolescent malnutrition in nutritional emergencies.

The experience of Somalia (1992-93) and Angola (1993-94) led to recognition of the need to develop anthropometric indices and treatment protocols for adult malnutrition. A case study was presented on the situation in Ajiep, Bahr el Ghazal in southern Sudan in 1998. In this situation where there were some 18 NGOs operating over 50 Supplementary Feeding Programmes (SFPs) and 21 Therapeutic Feeding Programmes (TFPs), not one of these programmes was tailored for adolescents and adults. Concern established adult and adolescent therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes. Two key conclusions that were drawn from the presentation were: (i) that towards the end of a severe famine, adult and adolescent malnutrition is frequently a significant health problem and (ii) that with the correct treatment and management of malnutrition, even the most emaciated individuals can survive.

Dr Salama recommended that there was a need for (i) programmes to target adult and adolescent malnutrition and that these conditions should be systematically investigated as part of any relief response and (ii) an inter-agency working group on adult and adolescent malnutrition in order to:

The SCN agreed that it would take on responsibility for following-up specific recommendations on adult and adolescent malnutrition.

For further information contact: ACC/SCN, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. e-mail: accscn@who.ch Web: http://www.unsystem.org/accscn/

More like this

FEX: An Ongoing Omission: Adolescent and Adult Malnutrition in Famine Situations

By Peter Salama and Steve Collins. (December '98) A boy sits under a tree awaiting a distribution by the UN World Food Programme in the southern village Acum Cum. The food is...

FEX: Adults and adolescents: assessment of nutritional status in emergency-affected populations

New publications1,2 In July last year the ACC/Sub-committee on nutrition published two reports on the assessment of nutritional status in emergencies. One report deals with...

FEX: Assessment of adult malnutrition

Assessment of Adult Malnutrition was the subject of a special meeting held during the SCN's 28th session in Nairobi in April 20011. The aim of the meeting was to reach a...

FEX: A systematic review of obstacles to treatment of adult undernutrition

Summary of MMedSci research1 By Claire Bader Since graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1995, Claire has spent over 12 years working in a variety of health and nutritional...

FEX: Use of case definitions and awareness of micronutrient deficiencies

Summary of Unpublished Study* Afgani boy with swollen and bleeding gums typical of scurvy. Micronutrient deficiencies have been reported in emergencies in populations who are...

en-net: Nutritional status and vulnerability of older adults/older people (aged 50 +)

Happy New Year to En-net colleagues, I have recently been contracted by HelpAge International (in partnership with NutritionWorks) to write a module on nutrition in older...

FEX: ACC/SCN Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies

Excerpts from Working Group Report The ACC/SCN held its 27th Session at the World Bank in Washington DC last April. About 60 participants from NGOs, bilateral and UN agency...

en-net: MUAC Cutoffs for Adults

As per the SMART recommendtions, the scale and severity of the nutritional situation is determined by nutritional status of under-five children and Mortality (CMR, U5MR)...

FEX: ACC/SCN Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies

The annual UN ACC/SCN meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya between 2-5 April 2001. The Working Group on nutrition in Emergencies meeting was held on the 5th. Highlights of the...

FEX: Improved surveillance prevents excess mortality: the Gode experience

Summary of published paper1 A study on the epidemiology of the famine in Gode district of Ethiopia has just been published. The primary objectives of the study (which was...

FEX: Intergenerational cycle of acute malnutrition among IDPs in Somalia

By Samson Desie Samson Desie is a nutrition specialist who has worked in the sector for more than a decade and currently works as Nutrition Cluster Coordinator with UNICEF...

FEX: International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch in CDC

Name International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch (IERHB), CDC Address 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, Georgia...

FEX: A Review of the advances and challenges in nutrition in conflicts and crises over the last 20 years

Abbreviated version of unpublished paper Food distribution at the ICRC kitchen in Tonj. By Frances Mason and Anna Taylor This paper is a shortened version of the complete...

FEX: Postscript on older people, nutrition in emergencies in Ethiopia

Bradley A.Woodruff, MD MPH, Medical Epidemiologist International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This field article from...

FEX: Nutrition needs and best practices for formerly trafficked female children and adolescents

By Erin Lisemby Erin Lisemby is a registered dietitian/nutritionist currently working with the US Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)...

en-net: Assessment of Adult Malnutrition in "Long-legged" populations

Dear ENN, I was wondering if there was any information or experience available in the use or adjustment of BMIs in adult populations in populations that are skewed from the...

FEX: Consumption of iron-rich foods among adolescent girls in Nepal: Identifying behavioural determinants

By Ajay Acharya, Pooja Pandey Rana, Bhim Kumari Pun and Basant Thapa View this article as a pdf Ajay Acharya is a Family Planning Specialist for the USAID-funded Suaahara II...

FEX: Nutrition in emergencies working group, SCN 2004

At the 31st Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) session held recently in New York (21-25 March, 2004), progress of the Nutrition in Emergencies Working Group (NEWG) was...

FEX: Adolescent Nutrition: Policy and programming in SUN+ countries

Summary of report1 This summary was prepared by Emily Mates (ENN) who undertook the review as an independent consultant together with Tanya Khara (independent), with the...

FEX: Anthropometric cut-off points for older children and adolescents in Syria

By Paluku Bahwere View this article as a pdf Paluku Bahwere is a paediatrician with over 25 years of experience in operational research and programming in the fields of...

Close

Reference this page

Annalies Borrel (1999). Summary of the Meeting of the Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies. Field Exchange 8, November 1999. p13. www.ennonline.net/fex/8/summary