Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Djibouti

October 25, 2016

Food Security Situation  

Map of Djibouti
CIA World Factbook
  • The July-to-September Karan/Karma rainfall season started late, limiting pasture recovery and improvement of animal body conditions. However, once the rains started in August, they were abundant. If the October-to-February Xays/Daada rains begin on time and perform well as expected, the majority of poor, rural households could move from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. 

  • Given that Djibouti’s climate is unsuitable for crop production, its population is largely dependent on imported food, leaving them vulnerable to high food prices. Currently, there has been an increase in seasonal job opportunities and staple food prices are stable, allowing household food security to improve.

  • Despite predictions for improved food security, the malnutrition situation remains concerning. UNICEF estimates that the prevalence of severe acute malnutrition for children under five is at 5.7 percent, nearly double the World Health Organization's emergency threshold of three percent.

  • Djibouti also continues to deal with a protracted refugee crisis. Since the outbreak of the Yemen crisis in March 2015, 36,000 refugees have entered Djibouti, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refguees (UNHCR). While the majority have either transited to other countries, or settled with family or other contacts in Djibouti town, over 3,500 remain as of mid-July, including approximately 1,400 in the Markazi Camp in Obock Region. Djibouti also hosts approximately 15,300 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The majority are long-term refugees who have resided in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl camps in Ali Sabieh region for up to 20 years. Refugee camps in Djibouti are located in very isolated areas and refugees are prohibited from working, leaving them almost entirely dependent on assistance. 

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to 75,600 of the most vulnerable and severely food insecure in Djibouti, focusing on refugees and food insecure households. FFP programs use targeted relief and recovery interventions to reduce short-term hunger among rural communities that are affected by recurrent drought emergencies and increasing food prices while also aiming to support asset creation activities that build resilience to shocks. FFP also provides funding and in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) to UNICEF to treat severely acutely malnourished children under five, as well as food assistance to refugees in camps.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $3.8 million 3,880 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $2.8 million 2,800 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $3.4 million 3,650 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $3.6 million 3,530 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $2.3 million  2,140 MT

Fiscal Year 2015 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $3.8 million 3,880 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by WFP, FEWS NET and UNICEF as of October 2016

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity.  The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC I—to Famine—IPC 5.

Last updated: October 25, 2016

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