J. Assessment Checklists

3. Food

a. Baseline Data

  • 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.
    • Price differential.
    • 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:
    • Increased begging/fighting/prostitution.
    • 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.

f. Other

  • Research any legal impediments to importation of certain foods. Are there any current Genetically Modified Organism limitations and has customs been contacted?

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Next: 4. Nutrition
TOC: J. Assessment Checklists

Last updated: May 18, 2017