Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Sector Planning guidances allow you to environmentally align your project strategy design.

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VEHA - Sector Planning Guidance

Food Security
Food Access

Food access

Sector result

All people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life in a resilient environment.


Define the indicators

% of the target population with acceptable Food Consumption Score (FCS)


Household Hunger Scale (HHS)


Ask Questions

Have food kits or rations been developed with a specific plan to minimise waste and packaging and provide advice to beneficiaries on appropriate disposal of waste to minimise littering?

Does your food provision include access to food that is culturally appropriate and in accordance with the diverse local dietary needs and preferences?

Do your food provision and/or the collection and packaging methods allow access to the most vulnerable (elderly, disabled, sick)?


Include a Source of Verification

Assess access to items necessary for cooking, such as coal and fuel-efficient stoves, or stoves fueled with renewable energy, in order to decrease the environmental degradation of the surroundings, including deforestation.

Monitor to ensure that household members and individuals do not limit the quantity, quality and types of foods they eat.  (source: Ballard, Coates, Swindale, & Deitchler, 2011 ;

Monitor access to food provision, water sources and other necessities (observation)

Monitor the number of beneficiaries that look for additional resources, such as cutting trees, buying more food, etc…

Create feedback mechanisms to provide means for all those affected to comment on and have a more in-depth understanding of their needs and project impacts


Consult Guidance & Examples

·  WFP has reviewed the size of the bags in which it distributed certain foods so that they would be easier to transport and use as well as to reduce losses. This size packaging was targeting mothers, children, elderly and disabled people to make sure they received the right amount of food.

· Reducing environmental impacts through for example the use of packaging with no colour, in order to avoid water and soil pollution from inks or considering the removal of the metallic layer used in plastic films to prevent the release of toxic fumes if burnt.

· Provide safe re-fillable packaging and avoid the use of single use packaging. For example, when possible, instead of providing bottled water, provide an accessible common water tap where people can bring their own bottle for re-use.

· Protect, preserve and restore the natural environment from further degradation when delivering food assistance. This includes considering the impact of cooking fuel on the environment and livelihoods strategies that do not contribute to deforestation or soil erosion.

· Prevent people adopting negative coping mechanisms such as over-exploitation or destruction of natural resources

· Food/Cash for work projects can incorporate simple environmental action plans developed by the communities and local authorities. These include tree planting/reforestation in barren hillsides, camp clean-up, environmental rehabilitation, construction of agricultural terraces, etc.

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