Global Nutrition Cluster


© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0193/Asselin

The capacity to deliver specific nutrition interventions depends on having adequate supplies and equipment in the right place at the right time. The quantity and type of supplies required will depend on the scale and nature of the emergency, as well as specific interventions outlined in the response. Supplies and equipment can be drawn from several sources, including in country stocks held by Nutrition Cluster partners, national or international procurement, as well as cross border loans between agencies when required. This page provides overview on supply procurement procedures, forms and characteristics of products.

Nutrition supply forecasting

There are no global guidelines for nutrition supply and equipment forecasting, though the broad steps are outlined in Table 34 of Nutrition Coordination Handbook.

For an example of the forecasting tool from MAli please click here [zip file].

Supply procurement procedures of UNICEF

Understanding the emergency supplies procurement procedure will help avoid unnecessary delays due to incorrect flagging of emergency sales orders or lack of justification. Placed sales orders for emergency supplies are transmitted to the UNICEF Supply Division as soon as the country office authorise the order, The Emergency Logistics Coordination Unit reviews the requisitions and determine if the order is to be approved as emergency (Rapid Response or Other Emergency) or to be released as non-emergency (regular order). The Emergency Supply List (ESL) [PDF] developed by the Supply Division includes the most essential items in different types of emergencies and are held in stock. It is possible to use the Emergency Supply Calculator (ESC) to develop a Supply Plan, which takes into account the emergency categorisation, country and number of beneficiaries. All relevanrelevant information regarding supply procurement procedures can be found at UNICEF Intranet site.

Nutrition Supply List

Nutrition supplies product sheet [MS Word]

WFP - Special nutritional products supplied by WFP currently include fortified blended foods (FBFs), ready-to-use foods (RUFs), high energy biscuits (HEBs), micronutrient powder or "Sprinkles", compressed food bars.

UNICEF Supply Division has a significant role in the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children. UNICEF also produces zinc tablets to help protect against diarrhoea.

Food Specifications

Supplies and equipment for a nutrition response refers to a range of materials, including but not limited to:

  • Commodities to treat SAM, e.g. F75, F100, ready to use therapeutic foods (RUTF);
  • Commodities to treat MAM, e.g. lipid based nutrient supplements, fortified blended foods;
  • Commodities to prevent malnutrition, e.g. lipid based nutrient supplements, fortified blended foods, mironutrient powders;
  • Micronutrients: vitamin A, iron/folate, multiple micronutrient supplements;
  • Routine medication in treatment of SAM and MAM: amoxicillin, antimalarial drugs, deworming tablets and others;
  • Anthropometric equipment: scales, height boards, MUAC tapes.

Following the link above you will find WFP's official specifications, WFP's local specifications, and Codex Alimentarius references. A specification contains standards relating to the quality, appearance and delivery of the product: conditions under which it is to be grown or produced, packed, stored and transported; explicit descriptions regarding its size, weight, color and nutrient content; details of the inspection process; and specific packing and labeling requirements. All requirements for purchase of commodity products are included in the specification.

Codex Alimentarius

The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety. The Codex Alimentarius is recognized by the World Trade Organization as an international reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection.



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