Describe the normal consumption pattern (food basket) of the affected population, any taboos, and acceptable substitutes.
Describe the normal food marketing system (including government involvement, imports, subsistence, and role of women).
Indicate what food aid programs exist, if any, and describe them.
Outline the indigenous food processing capacity.
b. Effect of the Event on Food
Ascertain the disaster’s effect on actual foodstocks and standing crops (damaged/destroyed).
Determine if access to food (e.g., roads, milling facilities) has been disrupted and, if so, how long will it likely remain disrupted.
Check market indicators of food shortages, such as:
Absence or shortage of staple grains and other foods on the market.
Change in supplies on the market (e.g., an increase in meat supplies may indicate that people are selling animals to get money).
Change in wholesale grain availability.
Unusual public assembly at a warehouse or dockside when grain is being unloaded.
Changes in warehouse stocks.
Black market price changes or increase in black market activities.
Commercial import changes or proposed changes.
Sale of land, tools, draft animals, etc.
Check nutritional indicators of food shortages by gender, such as:
Signs of marasmus, kwashiorkor, or other signs of malnutrition.
Increased illness among children.
Change in diet (i.e., quantity, quality, type).
Check social indicators of food shortages, such as:
Migration from rural to urban areas.
c. Food Availability
Determine how much food can be expected from future and/or specially planted, quick-maturing crops. Where in the production cycle was the affected area when the disaster struck? Is there any possibility for immediate local purchase?
Estimate the local government stocks on hand and those scheduled to arrive. Is borrowing of stocks on hand a possibility?
Estimate the local commercial stocks on hand and scheduled to arrive.
Estimate the local PVO/NGO/IO stocks on hand and scheduled to arrive. Is borrowing a possibility? Have standard procedures governing the transfer and use of commodities (Public Law 480, Title II) been considered?
Estimate local personal stocks on hand and those scheduled to arrive.
Determine regional availabilities.
Canvass other donors to find out what they expect to contribute.
Estimate how much food aid would be required during specific time periods.
d. Distribution Systems
Describe existing food aid distribution systems (e.g., government rationing, PVOs/NGOs/IOs).
Describe the effectiveness of the distribution system.
Describe the role of women in the distribution system.
Describe government marketing mechanisms.
Judge the capacity of the above to expand/begin emergency aid. What is their record of accountability?
Describe potential alternatives.
Explain the country’s (agency’s) previous experience with mass feeding.
Determine the availability of facilities and materials, including fuel.
Determine whether repackaging facilities exist.
Describe monitoring techniques at the various points of commodity transfer.
Describe targeting mechanisms required for vulnerable groups.
e. Social and Market Impact of Food Aid
Analyze the likely price impact on normal food suppliers. Describe the suppliers.
Decide whether food aid would free cash and labor for other aspects of relief, or divert labor and create a dependent attitude.
Has a Bellmon Analysis been previously required and is that analysis still relevant? This analysis is required to determine that:
Adequate storage facilities are available in the recipient country at the time when commodities are exported in order to prevent spoilage.
Importing commodities will not be a disincentive to, or interfere with, domestic production or marketing.
Research any legal impediments to importation of certain foods. Are there any current Genetically Modified Organism limitations and has customs been contacted?