CHAPTER 5: NUTRITION OF REFUGEES AND DISPLACED POPULATIONS
Nutritional data on refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) are rarely included in national survey data. The data on trends and prevalences of malnutrition described elsewhere in this report do not include refugee and displaced populations. Much of the information presented here is based on the ACC/SCN’s Reports on the Nutritional Situation of Refugees and Displaced Populations (RNIS).1
Unlike stable situations, displacement emergencies result in large variations in levels of undernutrition in relatively small areas. Thus, data that are aggregated by region or country can easily mask pockets of undernutrition that require an immediate, but carefully targetted, response. For example, the recent situation in Angola, where rebel forces have besieged several cities, has resulted in extremely high levels of wasting within these cities, which contrasts starkly with the more stable situation in the countryside, which is less affected by conflict. Thus, it is not appropriate to generalize about trends in the nutritional situation of refugees and IDPs either regionally or globally.
Instead of describing trends in the nutritional situation of refugees and IDPs, this chapter will provide an overview of the trends and developments in humanitarian response to the nutritional situation of refugees and displaced populations, followed by an overview of the prevalence and severity of under-nutrition in recent selected emergencies in the form of six case studies. The chapter will conclude by identifying emerging issues as well as key research priorities and policy implications.
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