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Enhancing the Nutritional Quality of Relief Diets

An international workshop with 105 participants from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), industry, United States Government, academia, and development assistance agencies was held in Washington, DC in April '99, to discuss and recommend strategies to improve the nutritional quality of diets for refugees and displaced persons in emergency and relief situations.

Over the past two decades, frequently cited evidence has drawn attention to the inadequate levels of calories, vitamins, and minerals in food aid, and nutritional deficiency diseases are still too often prevalent in relief situations. While the nutrition community has found and practised new approaches to improving diets, this knowledge is not yet adapted for or applied adequately in emergencies.

Because refugee diets are typically inadequate to meet nutritional needs, donors and field implementers have compelling ethical reasons to act. The outputs of this workshop reinforce the fact that many cost-effective, useful, and sustainable practices exist, and these should be standardised, applied, or researched. Diversifying relief diets for food security is something we should do, not just something we could do.

For copies of the report contact: The FANta Project, AED 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA. Website:http://aed.org. The Document can also be downloaded free of charge from the following website: http://www.foodaid.org

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Enhancing the Nutritional Quality of Relief Diets. Field Exchange 9, March 2000. p10. www.ennonline.net/fex/9/enhancing

(ENN_3415)

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