Survival Kits Operation

Cluster partner's ground staff hand over Survival Kits

A survival kit is a collection of essential, multi-sectoral life-saving items that improve people’s ability to survive in field locations where they are cut off from access to basic items. These populations are often on the run, hiding or unable to move due to the rainy season. A survival kit might include any combination of critical loose items from various sectors, primarily food security and livelihoods, health, non-food items (NFI), nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), .

The key characteristic of the survival kit is that it is light enough to easily transport by air for a very rapid response and for beneficiaries to carry if they are on the move.  The full survival kit is at maximum 9 kilograms.

The items in the full survival kit were selected by the Cluster Leads for each of the above-mentioned sectors in mid-2015. However, a survival kit may also comprised loose items based on special recommendations by field partners on the ground. 

The Cluster supports Survival Kit distributions when a situation meets the following criteria:

  • Needs are known to be critical but the situation is too dangerous for humanitarians to remain on the ground for extended periods of time and there is a potential lack of continuous access.
  • There is a window of opportunity to deliver the required items and the physical space required for delivery and distribution.
  • The delivery of assistance will not cause further harm to the beneficiary population; protection and security concerns remain central to protect both staff and beneficiaries.
  • There are contacts on the ground that can confirm the security situation/protective environment and receive the cargo.

Partners can nominate a location for Survival Kit operations when the above criteria are met. At the request of partners, the S-NFI Cluster will then advocate for the use of this modality with the ICWG and other concerned agencies.


For more information about Survival Kits please see the Survival Kits FAQ