You have lost everything. Your home was destroyed, and you fled so quickly that you had no time to take any food with you. You may have grown your own food and seen your crops burned and your animals killed or stolen. You are desperate to feed yourself and your family. What will you do?
In some cases, the local community or authorities may give you food, or, if you have money, you may buy food in local markets. Eventually, the local authorities may give or loan you a piece of land where you can grow some of your own food. You may have brought seeds and tools with you, or perhaps you were given some by a specialized aid agency. But there is a good chance that you will not have enough food to feed your family and you may be desperate for outside help. You may even risk your life to go back to the ruins of your village to search for what food may remain there.
The government of the country in which you are staying, the United Nations, and aid agencies should deliver food in acute crises. But sometimes weeks or months pass before aid arrives. In some cases, politics or conflict will keep food from ever reaching you.
If it does, you’ll receive a food distribution card that entitles you to a combination of grains, beans or lentils, cooking oil, and perhaps some salt and sugar. But food aid does not include nutritional supplements needed by children under five – those most vulnerable to malnutrition.
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