What non-food items (NFIs) best meet the (basic and protection) needs of women and girls in emergency situations? Include beneficiary and expert feedback where available.
The NFIs which best meet the basic needs of women and girls in
Hygiene/dignity kits: women and adolescent girls require locally
appropriate sanitary items to manage their menstrual hygiene. These
may be reusable cloth or disposable sanitary pads. The opportunities
for privately washing, drying, and disposing of sanitary cloths or
reusable pads need to be considered.
Suitable clothing: women and girls require culturally appropriate
underwear and clothing.
Household items: items for cooking and bedding are important for
meeting basic needs.
Contraception: the need for contraception does not go away in
emergencies, especially as the risks surrounding pregnancy and child
birth increase due to the collapse of natal and neo-natal care.
The NFIs which best meet the protection needs of women and girls in
Torches, radios and whistles: torches help light up areas where women
are at risk of attack; radios help keep them informed of developments
in the crisis; and whistles can attract attention if they need help.
Firewood/energy saving stoves: women risk attack when collecting
firewood, so energy saving stoves would lessen their exposure to risk.
Gender-sensitive logisticians are more aware of the importance of the
needs of women and girls and thus are more likely to procure and
provide appropriate NFIs. NFIs need to be distributed in ways that
ensure they are safely received by all the women and girls who need
Rohwerder, B. Non-food items (NFIs) and the needs of women and girls in emergencies (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1107). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 11 pp.