Djibouti’s strategic location and moderate form of Islam position the country as an important partner to the United States Government (USG). USAID reestablished its office here in 2003 and has since provided development assistance for basic health services, basic education, democracy and good governance.
Djibouti faces many challenges, including chronic drought, food insecurity, a severe lack of skilled workers, significant unemployment, high electricity costs, poor health indicators, numerous refugees, and nascent government and political systems.
Sustained support to assist this small but strategically important country is critical for maintaining peace in Djibouti and the entire Horn of Africa.
To improve the health of Djiboutian families, USAID has supported tuberculosis, polio, HIV/AIDS, and nutrition activities. USAID/East Africa has strengthened the National Tuberculosis Program, helped maintain the quality assurance system, and improved multi-drug resistant management capacity. Djibouti has been free of the wild polio virus since 1999, but since it is surrounded by countries with continuing outbreaks, USAID supports the government’s surveillance system to monitor potential future outbreaks.
By widening the distribution of food aid and supporting the National Nutrition Program, USAID contributed substantially to reducing infant and child deaths related to malnutrition from 20 per cent in 2006 to 0.2 per cent in 2011.
In FY 2012, Djibouti received its first PEPFAR funds, to be used in HIV/AIDS prevention starting in 2013.
USAID has also forged a public private partnership with the Government of Djibouti and Dubai Ports World to address HIV/AIDS prevalence along the Djibouti-Ethiopia Transport Corridor with the construction of a new community center--currently under construction.
USAID’s current health program focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention and includes activities to improve the Ministry of Health’s capacity to deliver effective, high-quality HIV/AIDS prevention services.
In 2010, USAID launched a four-year education program assisting the Ministry of Education to develop a national teacher-training plan; the program has so far trained over 1,200 primary-school teachers. To promote the education of girls in primary and middle schools, USAID partners have revised textbooks for gender neutrality, and developed a mentoring program for girls.
USAID has also supported Parent Teacher Associations, given small grants to establish a dozen school libraries, strengthened governance in over 100 school management committees, helped produce the Ministry of Education’s Annual Statistics Manual with improved data and graphics, and provided job training to 120 out-of-school youth (half of whom are women).
Current programming is being scaled back to focus on early-grade reading skills, in alignment with USAID’s new Education Strategy.
Democracy and governance
USAID is currently designing a new program, to introduce civic education in the primary school curriculum.
Other key USG and international development efforts
USAID serves as USG liaison for all development issues in Djibouti. Key USG and other development programs in Djibouti include CJTF-HOA military humanitarian efforts such as school/clinic construction and medical/veterinarian support, Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Global Fund activities, and the World Food Program.
Last updated: May 15, 2015