Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Food production depends on the availability of natural resources and specific conditions such as climate and nutrients. Food availability can be impacted due to environmental degradation, changes in climate patterns, overuse of productive land, among others. In addition, when there are disasters and cropland is impacted, humanitarian needs regarding food are at a peak, or when coping strategies affect natural resources, food production can be diminished and increase the likelihood of an increase in malnutrition.
Food security and health impacts include increased malnutrition. Ability to utilize food might decrease where changes in climate are linked to increased disease spread. Climate change might impact food safety due to changes in pests and water pollution.
There is therefore a need to ensure blanket supplementary feeding is available where needed. Blanket assistance is faster and easier to implement and can reduce conflict within assisted populations. However, it reduces the capacity to reach more vulnerable people in other locations. Both approaches will have a different environmental impact which should be considered.
There can be many causes of malnutrition. However, all of them impact the environment and most of them are linked to environmental fragilities.
Reduced presence of waste in target communities suggested a reduced incidence of vector-borne disease associated with that waste. People with chronic health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, people with disabilities, the elderly, and the very young may be more susceptible to such diseases.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural resource depletion
Impact on wellbeing / mental health
In South Sudan, Humanitarian agencies provided nutritional supplement feeding and found that over time waste was accumulating on land and in watercourses, causing pollution. Agencies responded by setting up feeding centers and removing packaging prior to distribution where possible; providing safe comfortable feeding areas and encouraging their use, followed by encouragement to return all waste packaging prior to leaving the feeding center.
Prevention of environmental damage
Additional time to create a scheme for reuse/refill/repurpose/safe disposal of items and for the refill stations, the appropriate equipment. An additional visit to gather up and remove the packaging or other wastes (although this can be combined with post-distribution monitoring).