Practical guide for the distribution of non-food products in emergency situations

In emergency situations, it is common for chaos and disorganization to prevail. This is due to the necessity of the ones who are affected and deprived of basic needs for protection, survival and preservation of their dignity.

In accordance with the Humanitarian Charter, International Law and the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross/Red Crescent movements and NGOs; we must have and preserve minimum standards regarding housing, human settlements and non-food items. The focus is on keeping human rights: dignity, right to live, protection, security as well as the right to receive humanitarian assistance, as needed.

People affected by a disaster must have access to basic products that ensure they have the satisfaction of the basic human needs. Therefore, access to priority products such as clothes, blankets as well as means to prepare and consume food and items for personal hygiene to preserve health, privacy and dignity, must be ensured.

The distribution of non-food products is closely linked to and complemented with other camp’s sectors such as food, water, sanitation, health, nutrition and protection. A Skilled management of the distribution of non-food product is required to help strengthen the effort or the humanitarian aid carried out in other sectors associated with the emergency or disaster plan.

This guide is a communicative important instrument in the distribution of non-food products.  Through its different steps, it facilitates humanitarian actors their technical and ordered intervention, making their work easier for the benefit of those who receive humanitarian aid. At the same time this guide offers a sense of order, exposing clearly the procedure of distribution of non-food products.

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Also available in: French, Spanish

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