Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Djibouti

Map of Djibouti
Map of Djibouti

March 7, 2018


  • Overall, the 2017 rainy seasons in Djibouti performed well, supporting pasture regeneration, increased water availability and near-average vegetation conditions. While the October-to-February rains were slightly below average, most households have improved food access due to a seasonal increase in access to milk and other livestock products, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
  • Currently, fewer than 50,000 people in Djibouti are experiencing Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity.* This population is primarily poor pastoral households in the southeast who have not yet rebuilt their herds following three years of poor rainfall, and  refugees who are dependent on humanitarian assistance. FEWS NET expects the population experiencing Crisis will increase to approximately 50,000 people in mid-2018 as poor households face difficulty meeting their basic food needs during the lean season.
  • Djibouti hosts approximately 27,000 refugees from neighboring countries, primarily originating from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and, more recently, Yemen. The majority of this population are long-term refugees who have resided in camps in Ali Sabieh Region for up to 20 years. Refugee camps in Djibouti are located in very isolated areas and refugees have very limited livelihood opportunities, leaving them dependent on assistance and vulnerable to food insecurity.

* 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 1—to Famine—IPC 5.


  • USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) enables the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to 75,600 of the most vulnerable and severely food-insecure people in Djibouti, focusing on refugees and rural, food-insecure households. FFP activities utilize U.S. in-kind food aid in targeted relief and recovery interventions to reduce short-term hunger among rural communities affected by recurrent drought emergencies and increasing food prices, while also supporting asset-creation activities that build community resilience to shocks. In addition, FFP furnishes U.S. in-kind food aid to refugees in Ali Addeh and Hol Hol camps in Ali Sabieh Region and Markazi camp in Obock Region through general food distributions.
  • In Fiscal Year 2017, FFP began supporting cash-based transfers to complement in-kind food distributions for refugees. These cash transfers aim to improve the nutrition status of refugees by increasing their dietary diversity, as well as expanding their purchasing power and bolstering local markets.
  • FFP also provides funding and in-kind ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to treat severe acutely malnourished children under 5 years of age throughout Djibouti.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $3.0 million 2,800 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $5.1 million 3,460 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $4.2 million 3,880 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

Related Resources

Last updated: March 07, 2018

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