The following figures can be used for planning purposes in the initial stage of a disaster.The minimum nutrient requirements given in the table below should be used to assess the adequacy of general rations targeting the population.Requirements are calculated based on an assumed demographic profile, assumptions about the ambient temperature and people’s activity levels.They also take into account the additional needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. The requirements are not intended for assessing the adequacy of supplementary or therapeutic care rations or for assessing rations targeted at particular groups of people, such as individuals suffering from TB or people living with HIV.
There are two important points to consider before using the requirements listed below. Firstly, these average population minimum requirements for population groups incorporate the requirements of all age groups and both sexes. They are therefore not specific to any single age or sex group and should not be used as requirements for an individual. Secondly, nutritional requirements are based on a population profile.
The following table gives an indicator of the average global population structure broken down by age.However, it is important to note that this is context-specific and can vary significantly.For example, in some rural communities, out-migration of middle generations has resulted in disproportionately high numbers of older people caring for children.
The population energy requirements should be adjusted for the following factors:
the demographic structure of the population, in particular the percentage of those under 5 years of age and the percentage of females
mean adult weights and actual, usual or desirable body weights
activity levels to maintain productive life – requirements will increase if activity levels exceed light (i.e. 1.6 x Basal Metabolic Rate)
average ambient temperature and shelter and clothing capacities – requirements will increase if the mean ambient temperature is less than 20°C
- the nutritional and health status of the population – requirements will increase if the population is malnourished and has extra requirements for catch-up growth. HIV and AIDS prevalence may affect average population requirements (see Food security –food transfers standard 1). Whether general rations should be adjusted to meet these needs will depend on contextual analysis and current international recommendations.