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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Appendix 6

Nutritional requirements

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:
If it is not possible to gain this kind of information from assessments, the figures in the table above should be used as the minimum requirements.