Adequacy of Food Aid Packs Provided during Natural Disasters: A Provincial Case Study
Background. Due to the devolved nature of Philippine local governance, disaster management systems such as
relief work and food aid pipelines, have been managed by local government units during natural disasters.
Objectives. This study assessed the nutrient adequacy of food aid packs provided during natural disasters in
the province of Albay. Specific objectives included assessment of the types of food and food sources, as well
as the practices in the food aid pipeline, and assessment of the nutritional quality of food aid packs through
comparison with the recommended energy/nutrient intake (REI/RNI) for Filipinos.
Methods. Key informant interviews were conducted to gather information on food sources and pipelines.
Information on the quantities of food components in food aid packs distributed was also collected, and the free
iFRNI software used to derive nutrient content. These quantities compared with the REI/RNI for the general
population. Descriptive statistics on Microsoft Excel were used to calculate the mean, median and mode for
macronutrients as well as Vitamin A and iron to determine the overall intake of individuals relying on these foods.
Ethical clearance was secured from the University of the Philippines REB.
Results. Analysis of the food components showed that the food aid packs were insufficient to meet the REI/
RNI for the general population, particularly for food packs distributed on the barangay and city/municipal levels.
Food was sourced from local suppliers as an emergency purchase during the forecast of a disaster, in place of the
prescribed practice of stockpiling. Procured food would then be repacked and distributed on the provincial, city/
municipal and barangay levels in a staggered schedule depending upon the length of the disaster or evacuation.
Conclusion. The food packs distributed by the barangay and city/municipal sub-units of the provincial
government of Albay are insufficient to meet the daily caloric and micronutrient needs of a general population
purely reliant on food aid after a natural disaster.