UCL News


Emergency food aid rationing software

28 April 2008


nutval ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ASEAL78" target="_self">Dr Andrew Seal
  • UCL Futures
  • WFP
  • UCL Futures, a fund raised entirely by UCL alumni, staff and friends, is supporting the development of a web-based software tool for planning emergency food rations.

    The 'NutVal 2008 Optima' tool is for the calculation, cost optimisation and monitoring of nutrient content of emergency food aid rations. The development work is being undertaken in close collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Project manager Dr Andrew Seal (UCL Centre for International Health & Development) developed the concept for the software from his field-based experiences, combined with nutritional, computer and management science.

    The software, an upgrade of 'NutVal 2006' will be hosted on the UCL website, and visitors will be able to use the application online, download the standalone version to their computer, and participate in a users forum for discussion of the application and future enhancements.

    "Having the application online will make it widely available to aid agencies as well as its core users, WFP and UNHCR, who are responsible for supplying and monitoring food aid for over 20 million people each year. By providing an easy-to-use tool for planning and monitoring the nutrient content of food aid, the project has the potential to improve nutritional and health outcomes for a substantial number of people," said Dr Seal. "Outbreaks of 'classic' micronutrient deficiency diseases, such as Pellagra and Scurvy, continue to occur in nutritional emergencies. Promoting the use of NutVal to improve the design and monitoring of food aid rations will be a positive step towards their irradication."

    To find out more, use the links at the top of this article.