Humanitarian daily ration

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(PD) Image: United States Department of Defense
Instructions intended for Afghan refugees for human daily rations.(PD) Image: United States Department of Defense
Humanitarian daily rations and contents.

Humanitarian daily ration is the name for an emergency ration, with a long shelf-life,[1] intended to be used for refugees during natural disasters, or in conflict areas.[2]

The meals are designed to be able to survive being air-dropped, without a parachute.[3] This is safer for the refugees than parachuting large pallets of rations. And it prevents hoarding of the meals by a few individuals. The meals cost approximately 20 % the cost of a meal ready to eat.[4]

Initially the rations came in a yellow wrapper, but that was the same color as a antipersonnel cluster submunition. The color was changed so civilians would not pick up a dangerous unexploded munition thinking it was food. [5]

Shelf life 36 months at 80 F
Weight 30 ounces
Kilo Calories at least 2200 per package
Protein content 10-13 percent
Fat content 27-30 percent
Carbohydrate content 60 percent
Prohibited contents Any animal products, except a limited amount of dairy products, below the limit that would cause a problem for a person with lactose intolerance.
Infant component All rations contain a fruit paste, suitable for feeding to infants
Utensils' All rations contain a spoon and a paper towel moistened with a non-toxic, non-alcoholic cleanser
(PD) Image: United States Defense Logistics Agency
Salmon colored Humanitarian Daily Ration.

The rations were first used in Bosnia in 1993.[6]


  1. Judith McCallum. Humanitarian Daily Rations: Being Ready is Half the Battle, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Winter 2001. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  2. Technical Data for Humanitarian Daily Ration. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  3. Humanitarian Daily Rations. DCSA. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Operational Rations. United States Defense Logistics Agency. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  5. Albin R. Majewski. The Alphabet Soup of Combat Rations, United States Army, Winter 2001. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  6. Memorandum for Correspondents. United States Department of Defense (August 2, 1995). Retrieved on 2007-10-18.