Water Engineering and Development Centre
1.1 Why this handbook?
SCF - has been working in drought-prone areas in Ethiopia since the 1972-4 famine. Consequently many organisations have asked us for advice on how to get food into hungry people efficiently. There are several reliable guides which outline how to approach feeding and health care in emergencies (see 1.3), but they lack practical information on what works locally, eg in Wollo or Harerghe, and how to go about setting it up. What we offer in this handbook is a local supplement to the professional guides and the official guidelines, and, we hope, some hints on how to avoid the pitfalls which we ourselves have encountered.
1.1.1 Using the handbook
Althought these Do's and Don'ts are based on our work with children in Ethiopia, you will find that most of the organisational principles and practice apply equally well to large gatherings of adults and whole populations, whether you are dealing with dry distribution, feeding, transit camps or resettlement areas.
We hope that the handbook can be used as a reference book, but it will be most useful if you take the time to go through everything that interests you first. We have tried to set out our experiences and problems in the order a planner and manager of a feeding programme usually meets them. We expect that foreign and Ethiopian staff of NGOs (non-governmental organisations) associated with feeding programmes will benefit most from reading this manual. We also hope it will add to government workers' experience, as well as inform interested observers of the relief effort.