In the acute phase of an emergency, or in the case of displacements of refugee populations without any medical care, it is better to send a standardized kit of drugs and medical supplies that is specifically designed for this purpose. For example, the new emergency health kit,8 which has been widely used since 1990 and was updated in 1998, contains drugs, disposable supplies and basic equipment needed for general medical care for a population of 10,000 for three months. Its contents are based on a consensus among major international aid agencies. It is permanently stocked by several major international suppliers (for example, the International Dispensary Association, Médecins Sans Frontières and the United Nations Children's Fund) and can be available within 48 hours. It is especially relevant in the absence of specific requests.