8.7.1 General food distribution
The aim of general food distribution (GFD) is to cover the immediate basic food needs of a population in order to eliminate the need for survival strategies which may result in long-term negative consequences to human dignity, household viability, livelihood security and the environment. Ideally a standard general ration of food is provided in order to satisfy the full nutritional needs of the affected population.
In a population affected by an emergency, the general ration should be calculated in such a manner as to meet the population’s minimum energy, protein, fat and micronutrient requirements for light physical activity. There are two ways of distributing a general ration:
- Employment generation schemes (EGS); a conditional transfer of rations that requires public work for a person to qualify for the ration
- Gratuitous relief (GR)/general food distribution (GFD); an unconditional (free) distribution scheme.
Due to the fact that food aid dependency is a major concern in Ethiopia, 80% of the food aid is distributed through EGS, especially in areas that are chronically food insecure. Healthcare systems and water resources may also require support. In a famine the primary goals are to ensure survival and reduce mortality.