From the editor
This edition of Field Exchange carries a number of articles which challenge the effectiveness of our standard responses to food and nutrition emergencies. A review undertaken in the Great Lakes region (see research section) is highly critical of food security responses over the past 5 years. Criticisms included the adoption of too narrow a range of interventions, many of which were judged to be inappropriate, short-term and overly focused on the food production side rather than market access. Issues of cost-inefficiency were also highlighted when alternative interventions may have been implemented at a 'fraction of the cost'. Another review of nutrition programming in the southern Africa region undertaken on behalf of UNICEF and WFP included a focus on the emergency response during 2001-3 emergency (see research section). This element of the review raised serious questions over the effectiveness of selective feeding programmes with regard to coverage and impact. A field article by John Moore and Mara Berkley-Matthews in this issue on difficulties of attending and managing SFPs in war-ravaged northern Uganda highlight how the success of many such programmes are highly context specific although programme staff did manage to introduce measures to circumnavigate some of the security related problems of attendance.
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