SPHERE minimum standards in Nutrition and Food Security

July 9, 2014

This chapter is divided into four sets of minimum standards:

  •  Food security and nutrition assessment
  •  Infant and young child feeding
  •  Management of acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies
  •  Food security

The Protection Principles and Core Standards must be used consistently with this chapter.

Although primarily intended to inform humanitarian response to a disaster, the minimum standards may also be considered during disaster preparedness and the transition to recovery activities.

Each of the sections contains the following:

  • Minimum standards: These are qualitative in nature and specify the minimum levels to be attained in humanitarian response regarding the provision of food and nutrition.
  •  Key actions: These are suggested activities and inputs to help meet the standards.
  •  Key indicators: These are ‘signals’ that show whether a standard has been attained. They provide a way of measuring and communicating the processes and results of key actions; they relate to the minimum standard, not to the key action.
  •  Guidance notes: These are specific points to consider when applying the minimum standards, key actions and key indicators in different situations. They provide guidance on tackling practical difficulties, benchmarks or advice on priority issues. They may also include critical issues relating to the standards, actions or indicators, and describe dilemmas, controversies or gaps in current knowledge.

If the required key indicators and actions cannot be met, the resulting adverse implications for the affected population should be appraised and appropriate mitigating actions taken.

Appendices include checklists for assessments, guidance on measuring acute malnutrition and determining the public health significance of micronutrient deficiencyand nutritional requirements.A select list of references, which points to sources of information on both general issues and specific technical issues and is divided into source material and further reading, is also provided.

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