The Management of Nutrition in Major Emergencies

Recent years have seen a significant rise in the incidence of both natural and man made emergencies and a concomitant increase in the numbers of stricken communities, refugees, and displaced persons. While sickness and homelessness are perhaps the most visible problems for affected populations, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are both common and frequently serious. Food shortages may be the primary feature of an emergency, as in droughts or floods that lead to famine, or may be consequence of war, economic disaster, or mass displacement.

The nutritional problems that inevitably follow such shortages add greatly to the burden of disease and mortality, slow the process of socioeconomic recovery, and make intense demands on scarce resources. This manual aims to improve understanding of the nutritional implications of an emergency situation and of the need to include nutrition in plans for emergency preparedness. It defines the nutritional needs of the individuals in emergency situations and offers a comprehensive overview of the major nutritional deficiency diseases and micronutrient deficiencies likely to be encountered in such circumstances.

This book intends to promote effective, coordinated action among professionals in health and related sectors who are concerned with the management of any emergency with a nutritional component. 

Resource Info


Published by

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
World Food Programme (WFP)
World Health Organization (WHO)


Food and Nutrition